Ajax furore threatens to split league
The ongoing, no-end-in-sight boardroom and courtroom battle between the PSL and Ajax Cape Town has the dangers of splitting the league down the middle, resulting in two opposing camps.
Fighting in the red corner is the PSL's stakeholders Ajax, spearheaded by chairman Ari Efstathiou and the club's supporters, who sincerely believe the club is being done in.
Then in the blue corner is the PSL chairman Irvin Khoza and his board of governors, whose job is ensuring that Safa and Fifa rules are adhered to and justice is done if any rules have been transgressed.
You've got to hand it to Ajax as they fight tooth and nail, doing all in their power, including exhausting their financial muscle, to stay in top-flight following their fielding of an eligible player in former Orlando Pirates and Saudi side Al Faisaly striker Tendai Ndoro last season.
Hand it to Ajax once again for going toe-to-toe with the PSL because no other club holds the candle to the gutsy Urban Warriors' bosses.
As the Ajax-Ndoro case threatens to derail the resumption of the 2018/19 league season starting in two weeks time, many in local football circles, including the board of governors, view Ajax as spoiling the sport.
Khoza, as the league's head honcho, and the other honchos on the board are tasked with protecting the league as a brand by giving sponsors, now known as partners, value for the millions of rand invested.
By going the whole hog and in the interim finding loopholes in judgments unfavourable to them, Ajax are gradually seen as PSL shareholders hellbent on bringing the league into disrepute.
The Urban Warriors on the other hand argue that as much as SuperSport United were protected by being stopped from registering former PSL Footballer of the Season Lebo Manyama last season, they too should have been forewarned. However, Ndoro's registration got the league's blessing.
Ajax is also fighting against the punishment handed down by the Safa arbitrator, William Mokhari, as being "too harsh" and "unprecedented", resulting in the relegation of the club after nine points were docked.
More so, the "harsh" punishment comes after the club was given the all-clear by the PSL's dispute resolution chamber to field Ndoro.
While throwing all the resources at its disposal in this case, this week the Cape side once again geared itself up to interdict the start of the forthcoming season and oppose the PSL's leave to appeal Judge Denise Fisher's ruling that gave the club some reprieve.
Ajax is also contemplating launching an application that if Fisher does grant the PSL leave to appeal, her verdict remains in place until that matter is finalised, making it difficult for Khoza and his board to give the green light for the league campaign to resume.
If the start of the league is halted, it will be unprecedented in the history of Mzansi professional football.
It's clear Efstathiou and his "Ajax family" are doing all in their power to retain their PSL status while testing Khoza and his board's patience in the process. Intriguing will be who emerges victorious in this bruising, no-holds-barred battle.
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