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1st Division

Umhlathuze municipality could sue Thanda Royal Zulu if they sell PSL status

15:27 BST 04/07/2017
Thanda Royal Zulu
The three-year deal deal which was signed by Thanda and the municipality stipulated that the team would not leave the city

The City of Umhlathuze have revealed that they will consider legal recourse against Thanda Royal Zulu if the sale of the team's PSL franchise goes through.

This was confirmed by the municipality communications manager Mdu Ncalane - stating that city has invested financially in Thanda, who won last season's National First Division (NFD) title and gained promotion to the PSL.

Thanda are open to selling their PSL status to fellow KwaZulu-Natal side AmaZulu, but Umhlathuze municipality have instructed their lawyers to investigate if the deal is approved by the PSL.

“Obviously we are not happy with the deal. Because it deprives us of an opportunity to have a PSL team‚” Ncalane told The Sowetan.

The city which entered into a R15 million three year deal with Thanda in April 2017, upgraded the lights at the club's home ground‚ Umhlathuze Sports Complex - spending R14 million.

The municipality official informed that they were expecting returns of far more than that R15 million and the money spent on the stadium from the spinoffs of having a PSL team in the city‚ such as hosting of big matches against teams like Kaizer Chiefs‚ Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

“What we have instructed our legal team to do – besides writing to the PSL‚ begging them to not proceed with the deal – is to look into the contract that we have signed with the team‚” Ncalane said.

“We are not at odds with the PSL. We had nothing to do with the PSL. We had an agreement with the team. We have to look into the legalities in terms of the contracts that we signed," he continued

“Luckily the R15 million sponsorship investment was not through yet‚ because it was to be used in the coming seasons. We cannot say that they must bring back the money that we invested in the stadium facilities‚ because the facility will remain with us," he added.

“But there are contractual obligations that our lawyers have to look into … in terms of breach of contract. Currently we are not aware how much that would be‚ or how we would go about it," Ncalane stressed.

Ncalane also stated that the municipality would also explore whether there was any recourse for what they have spent on the Sports Complex.

“Maybe – I don’t know‚ I’m not a lawyer – but maybe‚ out of the deal (to sell the franchise) a certain portion should come back (to the council)‚” he concluded.