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‘I was a cashier‚ a gate controller’: PSL chair Khoza on who can succeed him

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Irvin Khoza, chairman of the PSL during the 2022 PSL chairman's press conference at the PSL offices in Johannesburg on July 3 2022.
Irvin Khoza, chairman of the PSL during the 2022 PSL chairman's press conference at the PSL offices in Johannesburg on July 3 2022.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Irvin Khoza has urged football clubs to recognise that whoever replaces him as chair of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) should be versed in the value chain from grassroots to the top flight and the challenges facing the organisation.

Khoza’s current term comes to an end in 2024 after he was re-elected unopposed in 2020. He has been chair of the PSL since its inception in 1996.

Speaking at the event where he announced the Carling Knockout Cup will replace Telkom Knockout next season‚ Khoza said there are capable people to take over from him.

“It is not an easy job‚ that’s why I tell my members that whoever is going to take over must have their heart in the right place‚” he said.

“There are a lot of capable people in the PSL‚ there are a lot of people who have come in from the National First Division (NFD) and DStv Diski Challenge.

“There are also some ex-players‚ who I always advise that it is nice to talk that you must be given a chance‚ but they don’t get involved in their local football asssociations (LFAs)

“Some of us who have operated from LFAs know the value chain from the LFA all the way up to where we are today. I was a cashier‚ a gate controller and it was not demeaning to be that.

“I did that job because it was in-service training to understand the industry better so when people speak I know exactly what they are talking about.”

Khoza said the person who takes over from him will have to balance commercial requirements with sponsors‚ clubs and fans.

“If it was to happen today or tomorrow‚ members will decide because the choice is theirs but I am saying from the benefit of hindsight that bringing in someone who understands the value proposition and challenges we are facing is essential.

“That person will have to balance the commercial requirements of the sponsors with the interests of supporters and expectations of the media and creates conversations among fans to remain relevant and ensure the interests of the clubs.

“And the interests of unsung heroes who dip deep into their pockets to finance their clubs [the supporters]. They are never spoken about and are forgotten. These are the guys who said I am going to raise my hand and spend my family’s money.”

Khoza said when he was appointed PSL chair nobody gave him a chance.

“The moment finds the man. When I became chairman nobody thought I would be chair. They said I am conflicted‚ he is a club man‚ doesn’t he have experience and whatever.

“Time was a determiner and we cannot forfeit a solution because this is a members' organisation. For them to have taken a decision at that time to change the constitution for me to be given a chance to serve their interests‚ it dawned in my mind that they are saying I must be chairman because they want someone with a skin in the game.

“There were people who were employed somewhere‚ independent people‚ but they had no understanding of the environment and the ecosystem.

“We are being given that kind of menu to say we must have independent people but they also have agendas. They come in‚ take the league and make it their fiefdom.

“I remember one CEO we appointed years back‚ he went to all the clubs and said‚ ' Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motaung must go'. He is hardly six months in the job and he says 'Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motang must go because they are not God'.

“Imagine‚ we have invested our lives in the business where we are spending from our pockets and not from grants. The guy decides this because of his plans‚ not the plans of the members who want somebody to assist them to advance the cause of their business.”

- TimesLIVE

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