Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou has insisted that his club won’t look to buy their way back into the Absa Premiership by acquiring another club’s status.
After a season filled with turmoil, the Urban Warriors were relegated for the first time in their history.
They may have initially finished 15th, which sealed a spot in the PSL promotion/relegation playoffs, but following the outcome in the Tendai Ndoro case, Ajax were docked nine points, which saw them drop into last place and were automatically relegated.
Despite still having hope that the Ndoro case could be overturned, with a final ruling set to be announced later this week, Efstathiou may just need to begin preparing for life in the National First Division.
In recent years, several clubs have looked to buy their way back into the top flight by purchasing another team’s status – the most recent example being AmaZulu’s purchase of Thanda Royal Zulu’s franchise last year.
With news that top-flight club Bloemfontein Celtic are up for sale, it was reasonable to ask Efstathiou if a possible takeover of another club’s status is not on the cards.
The Ajax boss, however, insisted that despite the club’s perilous position, he will not consider buying their way back into the league.
‘No, we haven’t discussed that at all,’ he told KickOff.com.
He also admitted that the club face a difficult immediate future with the loss of top-flight football and the commercial benefits that come with it.
‘Huawei’s sponsorship ended in any case this year and was not going to be renewed,’ he says. ‘All discussions with potential new sponsors are on hold until we know exactly what we’re doing, as we can’t commit to anything yet. But it’s obvious that if we are not successful in our court bid, or anything afterwards, it’s not going to be easy.
‘It’s already difficult as it is in the PSL and will be even more difficult in the NFD,’ he added.
On potential departures, Efstathiou did not give much away, insisting that they will wait until the court case is resolved before making decisions.
The Ajax squad were back early for pre-season training on Monday, in the hope that a favourable court case result will see them take a place in a new round of playoffs.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
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