PSL ‘approves transfer’ for Royal AM to buy Bloem Celtic — letter

14 August 2021 - 12:42 By Mahlatse Mphahlele and Marc Strydom
subscribe Support independent journalism. Subscribe to our digital news package for R80 p/m.
Subscribe now
A general view of the the PSL headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg. File photo
A general view of the the PSL headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg. File photo
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The sale of the Premier Division status of Bloemfontein Celtic to Royal AM has been approved, according to a letter sent by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to both clubs.

TimesLIVE is in possession of a copy of the letter, written on a PSL letterhead, which states that the “transfer has been approved”.

The letter is addressed to Celtic owner Max Tshabalala as the representative of “the seller”; and to Dr Nozipho Fortunate Ngubo as the representative of “the acquirer”.

Nozipho Ngubo is reportedly the sister of Royal owner Shauwn Mpisane.

The PSL’s letter reads: “The application to approve the transfer of the football club known until now as Bloemfontein Celtic Football Club from the seller to the acquirer, [and the related approvals in respect of a name change (to Royal AM FC) and relocation (to Chatsworth Stadium)] served before the executive committee today.

“The executive committee considered the application and supporting documentation against the requirements of article 14 of the NSL Handbook.

“The transfer has been approved on the basis sought ... ”

The letter continues that the deal will proceed on “the express undertaking and agreement” from both parties that:

— the club has been transferred from the seller to the acquirer as a going concern

— all contracts of employment of all players of the Seller have been transferred to the acquirer;

— the acquirer will be responsible for, and will deal with (and where necessary, satisfy) all and any claims that may exist, or which have been, or which are brought by or against the club (whether by or in respect of the league, players, or other participants in professional football), and whether before the disciplinary committee, the dispute resolution chamber, or any other tribunal or court.

Article 14 of the NSL Handbook deals with the “Acquisition and Ownership of a Club”.

Earlier on Saturday Royal communications manager Sthembiso Hlongwane had confirmed the deal for Mkhize to purchase Celtic from Tshabalala was at an advanced stage.

Hlongwane also confirmed that Royal are selling their GladAfrica Championship (National First Division, or NFD) status to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC (TTM) and its owner, Lawrence Mulaudzi.

“Yes the deal has gone through. We’re just finalising all the relevant documents,” Hlongwane said.

TTM, meanwhile, were preparing to announce that they have purchased Royal’s NFD status, a deal the PSL has apparently approved.

TimesLIVE also has seen a screenshot of a letter stating the PSL’s executive committee has approved that sale too.

TimesLIVE also has copy of a document that is apparently an official TTM statement, dated August 15, which the club was apparently preparing to release on Sunday, confirming their purchase of Royal.

Mulaudzi had bought the Premiership status of Bidvest Wits ahead of the 2020-21 season, renaming the team TTM and relocating it to Limpopo. However he soon ran into financial difficulties in the top-flight and re-sold the franchise to Abram Sello in January, who again renamed the club Marumo Galants ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Royal AM had been involved in a protracted and at times messy legal battle to be reinstated as champions of the GladAfrica, where they had suffered several court defeats. This had followed an arbitration award of three points to Sekhukhune United, who then won the NFD and automatic promotion to the Premiership.

Tshabalala could not be reached for comment on Saturday. PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala could also not be reached.

subscribe Support independent journalism. Subscribe to our digital news package for R80 p/m.
Subscribe now