Angry fans have hit out at Max Tshabalala for how he announced the sale of Premier League side Bloemfontein Celtic to the players on Tuesday.
The PSL approved the deal that saw the businessman sell the club for R50 million to Shauwn Mkhize and sees the club renamed Royal AM and moved to Durban. But the way Tshabalala broke the news to the squad members has generated much criticism on social media.
In the leaked audio, first published by well known sports broadcaster Robert Marawa on his Twitter account, Tshabalala said his move to sell the outfit was down to financial struggles they have undergone. He was also categorical that he would not promise the problems would not be there in the new season.
"Gentlemen, I'm not going to belong. I have to be straightforward and I have to be frank," Tshabalala said in the audio. "You've seen what the media has been saying, and it's true, the club is sold.
"You know that we had [financial] problems, and I could also foresee that this would continue this season. So the team is sold. Guys, we can't do otherwise as it's been four years that I've run the team out of my own pocket.
"You know the challenges, and it hasn't been made easier for me. But as far as our Premier Soccer League status is concerned, we've sold the team over to Royal AM.
"We couldn't announce anything until the PSL had approved it. Each player here who has a contract with the club and receives a salary, their contract is going over to Royal AM as per the PSL rules.
"Because when you sign with a PSL team, your contract must be protected. But as according to your contracts and salaries, everything is there with them.
"So we'll request you today, as there is a [DStv Premiership] game on Sunday and the players must leave [Bloemfontein].
"All the contracts are with them and is as you signed them. No trialists or players without a contract must leave. It's only people who have contracts with the team requested to travel. That's what we presented to the PSL and what Royal AM has accepted.
"I can't take it no more [the financial strain]. It's going to affect my personal life, my family and my children's life. I can't. It's too much, so the club is sold and now let's arrange for you to leave."
How Twitter reacted:
Here's Part 1. pic.twitter.com/nfeKjURHxk— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) August 19, 2021
You've asked for the Max Tshabalala audio when he addressed his players and Staff on Monday about the immediate sale of his club @Bloem_Celtic......Listen carefully to how professional players are treated....— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) August 19, 2021
PART 1: pic.twitter.com/lfz2g4yJOd
Max Tshabalala, He’s such a vile man, the way he spoke to the players, doesn’t care about the history of club, nothing, Ntate Molemela must be turning in his grave 💔,My heart goes out to the people of Bloemfontein. History and culture of the club Gone because of business 🚮— Mohlomi Notši (@Hlomnatso) August 19, 2021
Max Tshabalala has been arrogant since. I'm not surprised by his rude statements to the players. He's been like that even in the media platforms. but I wish all those players best of luck in their future, I hope they'll find peace with it one day. 😢💔🙏🙏— Abza wa Lekhosi (@Am87Kekae) August 19, 2021
Max Tshabalala hana pelo 💔.. Imagine telling professional footballers that the team is sold and they must leave for DBN in that manner 😳🙆♂️— Kabelo (@kabelo_schwps) August 19, 2021
It's still a dream to me, I can't believe it. I will never forgive Max Tshabalala for this...— Nat Nakasa (@MolawaPabatso) August 18, 2021
Ntate Molemela and Jimmy Augousti's great work went in vain 😭😭😭😭Max Tshabalala is a cruel soul 😠 I'm weeping for every Bloemfontein Celtic supporter, current players and club Legends of Siwelele 😭I don't even want to talk about Bra Botha and Ausi Mamello Makha 😭💔 pic.twitter.com/TCDuhdWesB— The-General (@SihleGeneral10) August 16, 2021
The Business ppl/corporate World from FS should take the blame for not coming to the fore when needed most.— B-e-n-e-d-i-c-t (@oudip) August 19, 2021
Pointing fingers at Max Tshabalala to me it doesnt make sense!!
Mamkhize has destroyed a whole history and hurt so much people by removing whats close to bloemfontein hearts. And Max Tshabalala my brou. I have no words to say💔💔 pic.twitter.com/K3aRwWBaHd— Goitsemang Modisakeng (@GoitsemangModi6) August 18, 2021
Mistake former Celtics players will make is to sabotage Royal AM because of rubbish in social media. They have been saved and must be grateful. Being asked to travel to Durban is another technical matter. They must go there and perform like this never happened.— #ChilliFikx @ R25 (@wandasigwili) August 19, 2021
What is the problem here? His been struggling to run the team for so many years Shame !!! Thanks to MaMkhize for rescuing him and to save players jobs…— Tha Simelane 🇿🇦 (@Tha_DBN) August 19, 2021
Aren't we being a bit too harsh towards Mamkhize? She found a collapsing PSL with history of clubs such as Dynamos, Mpumalanga black Aces, Wits and many other teams being sold.— Sanele Sano Ngcobo🇿🇦 (@sanosanele) August 19, 2021
I think PSL must full responsibility for this mess, including the way they handled NFD matters
I'm confused now that the team has been sold. What will happen to the goalkeeper who took them to FIFA? Will he still get the money FIFA said he had to get?— Rhulani Chabangu (@RhulaniChabangu) August 19, 2021
This is heartbreaking. So do they pack their livelihoods in bags and hop onto their cars and buses just to make 6am?! Yikes.— Masego (@Masego) August 19, 2021
Chatting to the players now on the fone who r sleeping four per small room is sad actually....whether morning or night it's ruff.— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) August 19, 2021
How are they being treated in kzn?— Ramo11111 (@Ramo1111117) August 19, 2021
I hear that they are booked at a dodgy guesthouse & sleeping conditions are such that,4 players are sharing one bedroom...
The guy is being frank and straight forward. How are professional players supposed to be addressed kanti? What more can be done or said in this situation?— Warra (@mawande_warra) August 19, 2021
No you got it wrong, the way he conducted this transition is questionable...its so inhumane, very selfish and mostly cruel, why he didn't talk with them when he knew that the deal is final for them to arrange their lives for it, these are not robots, even robots needs reprogramin— Elijah®️ (@MrKwezi) August 19, 2021