PSL : Chairman outlines financial challenges
Free State Stars chairman Mike Mokoena held candid talks with supporters as well as the general public last Saturday, explaining the challenges of running the team without financial backing.
Mokoena admitted that the club had considered selling their franchise to Moroka Swallows, a deal which ultimately fell through, with the chairman pointing out how difficult it has become to keep the ship afloat since their main sponsor pulled out. It has been for this reason that Ea Lla Koto have also been forced to cash in on some of their prized assets.
“Yes it’s true that we wanted to sell the team to Moroka Swallows due to financial constraint,” Mokoena said at the meeting in Bethlehem on Saturday.
“After parting ways with our sponsor Bonitas, they really left a big gap as far as financial muscle is concerned – Bonitas were really helping us a lot.
“People are always pointing fingers that we sell our top players, but the answer is simple – we need the money to keep the team going. Again we can’t compete with other big club who have big pockets.
“I have been in football all my life and it’s not easy for me to run the club without any sponsorship.”
Stars will be playing some of their home matches at Orkney, a move the club hopes will assist in boosting the coffers.
“With a bigger venue like Charles Mopedi Stadium not available for us we can’t even make money from gate takings,” added Mokoena.
“We will be playing some of our matches in Orkney as the municipality has bought some of the matches; the move to Orkney was a business move – it made sense because the stadium is bigger than our Goble Park.
“Other PSL teams who are operating without sponsorship, at least they get funds either from their respective province or municipality, of which it’s not the case with us.”
There could, however, be some light at the end of the tunnel for Stars, who have initiated a campaign to secure more sponsorship deals and financial backing in the future.
“We have now elected a Working committee from the general public that will assist us in getting funds and to take the team to the next level,” stated Mokoena.