Highlands Park have confirmed the sale of the club’s top-flight status to Tim Sukazi, with TS Galaxy now in the PSL as of next season.
Sukazi has been on the hunt for PSL status for some time but, after failing in his pursuit of Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits, finally found a club willing to sell in the Lions of the North.
Highlands released a statement on Thursday morning confirming the sale, adding that it was done with a heavy heart and that the coronavirus pandemic played a massive role in placing further strain on an already indebted club.
The club, though, did confirm that the sale will exclude the MDC and youth teams at Highlands, as they will use the young players to try to work their way back up the footballing ladder.
The full statement reads:
‘It is with a heavy heart that Highlands Park Football Club announces the sale of its Premier Soccer League status which will play under the name of TS Galaxy FC from next season onwards. The coronavirus pandemic with the resultant economic crisis which is upon us and forecast to continue for next three years was the pre-emptor of this sale. Highlands Park has accumulated significant debt over the past six years while competing in professional football despite the sponsorships that was paid to the club. The full proceeds of the sale will be used to settle these debts. No funds will be available for distribution to any shareholder. Highlands Park is a BBBEE Level 2 entity with 51% Black Ownership. The interactions between the parties was managed by one of the top law firms in the country – Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr – to ensure full compliance with matters of law.
‘Discussions between the parties have been ongoing for some months and the official approval of the Executive Committee of the National Soccer League was received late yesterday.
‘Highlands Park wishes to thank their two sponsors. Jonsson Workwear who has invested into the club over the past two seasons as a Headline sponsor. Hatfield VW has funded the club materially over the past six years – four years as the Headline sponsor and the past two years as a co-sponsor with Jonsson Workwear. Our sincere gratitude is extended to both companies. It has been a pleasure to interact with two highly professional, passionate football-loving companies.
‘Highlands Park has been associated with professional football initially since 1969. The owners of the brand at the time exited in 1982 having accumulated multiple trophies in South African football. Under new ownership and management Highlands Park re-entered the world of professional football in 2014, having won promotion from the 4th tier Castle League and 3rd tier ABC Motsepe League.
‘Highlands Park is planning to take a break for a year or two, after which we plan to make a comeback to professional football. All the professional players in the PSL team as well as the Head Coach will move over to the new owners. However, all the MDC and youth players will remain with Highlands Park and compete in amateur leagues. With these young players Highlands Park will rebuild for the future.
‘Highlands Park has brought professional football to people of Tembisa for the past six years and Makhulong Stadium has become a stronghold for the team. Thank you to our amazing supporters who have been a source of much pride. It has been our privilege to become part of your family. We regret and we are sorry that this economic crisis has occurred and we have no choice but to sell the team and settle all the monies which we owe. Please be patient with us – we have some fantastic young players and we will bounce back much wiser and stronger and we will reignite your passion that is an inspiration to all football lovers across South Africa.’
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