Khulu Sibiya, the Chairperson of Supersport United, visited Robert Marawa on Marawa Sports Worldwide on the 16th of August 2018. The occasion was the ‘Chairman’s Chair’.
Sibiya made a startling revelation on the very opening minutes of the show when he said he is thinking of relocating the club out of Atteridgeville, out of Pretoria, due to lack of support for over 18 years of being home in Pheli. In fact, he indicated that the process has begun and PSL need to give a go ahead after inspecting the new venue.
Sibiya expressed his disappointment in Ayteridgeville, and thereby blaming the people of Atteridgeville for not supporting football, let alone Supersport United.
He indicated that his lowest levels of happiness would be if at any regular game there were to be attended by between 15,000 to 20,000 dedicated and loyal supporters of the club. This is not happening currently and has not happened for 18 plus whilst the club was home in Pheli.
He also made reference to the fact that he does not believe that even Sundowns is receiving the support it deserves. Therefore the people of Atteridgeville have missed an opportunity to enjoy the fun whilst it was abundant when other places are starving of football.
The consequence of this lack of support will therefore be that Supersport United will relocate to another location. It seems as though initially this will be introduced as an ‘Alternative Venue’ concept, and slowly move out to predominantly play at the new venue.
Robert Marawa tried his digging tactics to uncover the information on the destination venue, which speculatively came out as either Ekurhuleni or Mbombela (not confirmed). An announcement still to be made.
As Phelindaba Local Football Association, we are not happy with this development. We realise that we cannot stop SSU from moving on if the decision is made, but at the same time we know that not enough was done by SSU to attract support locally in those 18 years plus when they were home at Pheli. We know that there was fixation on events in the guise of programmes, that made SSU to think that they really have engaged the communities, but we contend that view.
The Chairman mentioned that there is a research done that supports their decision, but we know that with the same marketing configuration and philosophies, they will still phase the same challenges, or even worse as they are not solving the root cause of the problem.
We remain ready to work SSU to access our critical mass in Atteridgeville. We remain ready to work with the them run meaningful programmes that actually resonate with the communities, which will translate into support. We feel that the little support that SSU has in Atteridgeville is very core, and should not be thrown away as this will cause problems for any club that may find Atteridgeville as a home in future due to trust issues.
Therefore, we call upon the Chairman of Supersport United to engage with PLFA and the communities of Atteridgeville, Saulsville and Lotus (Pheli) in order to really see the potential. We call upon him to engage before he moves the club out of Atteridgeville.
To listen to the interveiw, follow this link: https://iono.fm/e/593553.