Cape Town – Chippa United are contemplating an offer to move their club from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth next season.
The Eastern Cape government and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality seek a top flight franchise and another tenant for their World Cup stadium.
“It’s a decision I’m pondering on at the moment,” said the National First Division champions’ charismatic chairman Siviwe Mpengesi. “But to run a Premier Soccer League team requires money and I’ve put a lot of my money into the club up to now but maybe it’s time to run it as a proper business.”
The Eastern Cape has been looking to have a PSL franchise since Bay United who relocated to Polokwane after being relegated. Port Elizabeth has a magnificent stadium that was built for the World Cup, but it is used more for rugby than it is for football now.
In recent seasons, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality paid for the likes of Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates to play a few of their league games there but want a permanent team.
According to supersport.com website, they paid around R1 million per match, but Mpengesi did not reveal any figures of the offer he has been given, saving to describe it as offering a cat milk as opposed to meat.
“The proposal was put on my table and I’m still digesting it. In the end I have not decided whether it’s good for me and the club or not,” Mpengesi said.
Last season the Chippa United owner even paid out of his own pocket to upgrade the floodlights at the Philippi Stadium when the PSL told him to move from his home ground to the Athlone Stadium because of an issue with the lights for night time games.
“We started late that season at Philippi but I feel now we can play anywhere,” he added.
Port Elizabeth have effectively been starved of top class football in over five decades of professional football. Bay United were the last top-flight side to be permanently based there, but lasted just one season in 2008/09 before being relegated. The club has since relocated to Limpopo and compete in the Premiership again as Polokwane City.
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