Sthembiso Ngcobo of Free State Stars celebrates with teammates during the Absa Premiership match between Free State Stars and Kaizer Chiefs on 11 May 2016 at Goble Park Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Saturday Jul 23, 2016. 11:42
The Premier Soccer League has confirmed that a deal to buy Free State Stars by a consortium led by Gauteng Education MEC and self-confessed Moroka Swallows fans, Panyaza Lesufi, has failed.
The full statement released by Free State Stars general manager Rantsi Mokoena on Friday afternoon:
Free State Stars Football Club confirms the failed sale of the Club's franchise to a consortium led by Gauteng MEC for Education, Mr. Panyaza Lesufi. The deal has now fallen through as; the consortium has failed to meet some of the conditions of sale set by the National Soccer League, more particular that relating to the payment of the sale price.
As a result, Free State Stars Football Club is back in business and in full preparation for the 2016/17 season. Free State Stars Football Club Chairman, Mr. Mike Mokoena stated as follows: "Free State Football Club had been approached by Mr. Panyaza Lesufi who offered to buy our Club football franchise on behalf of his consortium. We went as far as signing the sale agreement which was subject to certain conditions which unfortunately could not be met by Mr. Lesufi or his consortium. When the offer was presented to us, it became a very hard decision to make as football has been part of our lives for many years. However, due to financial constraints that we had to endure for some years, we were left with no choice but to accept Mr. Lesufi's offer.
Our situation had been made worse by the loss of our main sponsor, Bonitas, which left a huge hole in our Club finances. We found ourselves in a situation where we had to inject in excess of R12 million in order to keep the Club afloat. We were quick to realise that the situation was unsustainable and that we were running the risk of either being relegated or running the Club into bankruptcy. We had to be unselfish and do what was right for the entire Club.
Now that we find ourselves in this situation, we have no choice but to soldier on and hopefully turn things around in not time. Fortunately, our pre-season preparations were not affected by the sale situation other than the transfer of il few of our players to other Clubs. This is quite familiar to us as we are usually forced into a situation whereby we need sell some of our best players every season in order to keep our Club in business. Our playing squad is in good shape and we have also managed to secure the services of Coach, Denis Lavagne, who has an outstanding track record.
We will be announcing his new assistant coach and a list of our new signings for the upcoming season very soon. We take this opportunity to thank the PSL for affording us the opportunity to consider Mr. Lesufi's offer. We also thank our players and supporters for their understanding during this short but challenging period. As a collective, we owe it to ourselves to keep the Club in the League and improve the Club's financial situation as it is our intention to remain in top level football for many more years to come.