Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Johannesburg: PSL chairman confirmed on Tuesday; 17 August 2021 that they have sanctioned the sale of Bloemfontein Celtic, only three days before the new season kicks off. The PSL has confirmed Bloemfontein Celtic will be renamed Royal AM ahead of the new 2021-22 season.

Khoza confirmed they had officially approved the sale of the club in accordance with article 14 of the National Soccer League handbook.

“There is a matter of transactions. It is a matter that has its own history, it almost took the executive three days of deliberation. The main point is the transition must be seamless because there are a lot of stakeholders affected by this transition,”

“There is a very important issue that we discussed, the future financial stability [of the club]. The future financial stability is a matter that faces us every day in football,” Khoza said during the media briefing.

“We want to protect the history of a club, but the issue of sustainability is a problem. Regardless of our discomfort when we deal with transitions sometimes, we must make sure we are doing the right thing. We must consider two things, the issue of the insolvency of the club, the risk of insolvency.” continued Khoza.

“If somebody says ‘I cannot afford.’ What do you do? As a league, we have an obligation that the league must start with 16 teams, we have got commitments with sponsors, tv, etc. We do not have too many in our football with deep pockets,”

“That is why it almost took us three days to discuss this matter. It is very important that the players and other employees must be protected. In a case of insolvency, people lose jobs.” concluded Khoza.

Bloemfontein Celtic, who has a large fan base in the Free State, was founded by Norman Mathobisa and Victor Mahatane in 1969 and they administered the club until the early 1980’s when financial challenges forced them to sell the club to Petrus “Whitehead” Molemela.

It was during November 2001, when Celtic was relegated to the National First Division, Molemela sold his shares in the club to Demetri Augousti, who was a former Celtic player himself.

After only three years out of the top-flight, the club regained its PSL status with an impressive season in 2003-04 when they were crowned First Division champion and they also managed to win the 2005 SAA Supa 8 and the 2007 Telkom Charity Cup. This is certainly a hard time for loyal Siwelele faithful supporters and Free Stater, who have now lost their beloved club.