Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou admits that the drawn-out nature of the Tendai Ndoro saga has left the club in limbo and has seriously impacted their preparations for next season.
Ajax will again be heading to the South Gauteng High Court to apply to interdict the start of the 2018-19 PSL season in the latest instalment of the saga that has caused mass controversy over the past three months.
The Urban Warriors are still fighting their relegation in court, after the PSL executive committee’s decision to appeal Judge Denise Fisher’s ruling which set aside Judge William Mokari’s judgement.
Mokari’s ruling saw the Cape club docked points and subsequently relegated due to fielding the ineligible Ndoro. Fisher’s ruling, however, gave the club a lifeline as she ruled that Ajax should be reinstated to their original 15th-place finish, a decision that has thrown the start of the league in doubt.
With their future up in the air, it has been difficult for Ajax to plan for the upcoming season. With 11 players from last season’s squad, including a number of loaned players, having already left the Ikamva gates, the club’s hierarchy have found it difficult to find the right players to bring in due to their uncertain future.
‘You can imagine the confusion on our side, trying to ascertain how to strengthen the squad,’ Efstathiou said. ‘Do we strengthen with PSL-type players or NFD-type players? Do we go to the expense of bringing in PSL-earning players into an NFD structure? Or do we bring NFD-earning players into a PSL structure?
‘We are sitting in absolute limbo… while all the other clubs have been active in the market strengthening their squads.
‘At the end of the day, we have to make a decision now and go into a high-risk situation where we have to try and get players that can play in both divisions.
‘But it is hard enough getting players that can play in one division‚ let alone both. So that is our predicament.’
Efstathiou also revealed the toll that the uncertainty has had on the current squad as pre-season has begun with no clear idea of where they will be playing.
‘We have got to try and keep them in the frame of mind of being professional wherever they play,’ he said. ‘I met with them on Monday to try and explain the situation. You can imagine how confused they are, so we are trying to keep them focused on the field and not off the field.
‘But you can imagine the confusion in their minds‚ not knowing whether they will be playing in the PSL or the NFD.’
You may also like