The Saturday May 4, 2019 will for a long time stay in Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ supporters’ minds as the day that their beloved side finally succumbed to their perennial struggles both on and off the field.
Magosi suffered a 3-1 loss to Sankoyo Bush Bucks on Saturday, a result that confirmed their painful demotion to the lower division.
Although there were scary signs for the better part of the season with results not coming, many did not expect that it would come out the way it did, especially against a side that has also been struggling to grind results the entire season. By last week, it was however becoming increasingly evident that the titan could finally sink. The 4-0 defeat suffered at the hands of arch-rivals, Township Rollers last week meant that their fate could finally be decided if they were to drop points against Sankoyo. Prisons XI who had been fighting for the 13th spot with Magosi had just secured an important point against Miscellaneous and leapfrogged Chiefs to move to position 13. All eyes were now on the two sides’ matches this past Saturday. A victory against Black Forest for Prisons XI was going to put Chiefs further into turmoil and it did.
Prisons XI on Saturday came with guns ablaze and demolished Black Forest 3-0 to keep their survival hopes alive. Chiefs on the other hand failed to help themselves despite taking a lead against Sankoyo. Even the arrival of Enos Mmesi could not help save the situation. Mmesi was brought in last week to try and save the team from the gallows in the remaining two games.
He was replacing Zahid Jalal who stepped aside citing threats made by supporters as a reason for his decision. This was after the 4-0 defeat to Rollers on Wednesday. Jalal had taken over from Itumeleng Duiker whose departure was also controversial. For a team that comes only second to Rollers in as far as achievements on the field are concerned in the past 12 years, the current situation may appear to be a result of a poor performance on the field only.
However their current situation arguably stems from the long running boardroom wrangles, which have remained unsolved up to now. Realising that the current football trends and cost of running a football team are becoming unbearable, Magosi like other clubs decided to take the privatisation route. It all appeared smooth until a squabble surfaced between two warring groups.
The formation of a trust started well and the club roped in
On the other side was the current chairperson, Raymond Tsheko and his committee, which included the late Clifford Mogomotsi, Lebogang Seboni and Ernest Molome amongst others. On the other hand were Ramocha Tsieng and his committee. Ramocha and his committee members were of the view that the proper procedure was not followed when the trust was formed which now saw two parallel committees running the club.
The matter reached the courts and the two groups agreed to solve their differences outside the court. Just when Magosi supporters were hopeful that the matter had finally been put to bed with the formation of a transitional committee, it later turned out that the dispute was far from over as the other group led by Tsieng refused to be part of a general meeting which ushered in a new committee.
Currently, the two groups are set to be battle it out in court next month as the fight for control of the club continues. In the past, both camps admitted that the squabbles scared off potential investors and sponsors. However, in the end as the two groups are still fighting each other, the financial struggles due to lack of sponsors have finally sent the team to the lower division.
In the midst of all the fights, Magosi lost several quality players to their rivals as they failed to compete in as far as taking care of the welfare of players is concerned. The mass exodus included the likes of Galagwe Moyana, Dirang Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale and Kekaetswe Moloi.
The final straw was when they parted ways with Pontsho Moloi who at the time was serving as an assistant coach. Moloi, despite others opting for greener pastures when the club faced difficult moments financially, remained grounded until the club decided to ditch their technical team which included him. He is currently the interim coach at Extension Gunners. With the team’s fate now decided, it remains to be seen what the general membership will decide on the way forward as well as the court case.