Emotions are running high after the Premier Soccer League approved the sale of Thanda Royal Zulu to allow AmaZulu back in the top-flight.
Amabhubesi earned promotion to the Premiership after winning the National First Division by 12 points, having lost only two games all season.
However, upon promotion the club’s chairperson Pierre Delvaux revealed the club was up for sale due to the excessive costs of running the KZN side without sponsorship.
And up stepped their rivals Usuthu, who finished in fifth place in the NFD last season, but with R55 million they bought themselves a ticket back into the big league – for the second time in the club’s history.
It’s been announced that TRZ will now play second-tier football under the new name of Richards Bay FC and the city of uMhlathuze have cried foul with the latest actions.
“The city of uMhlathuze has for years invested millions of rands into the club as main sponsors with the intention of seeing the club developing to the top league,” a spokesperson told City Press.
“Taxpayers’ money was also invested in improving the stadium to accommodate the club’s success and, just recently, R14 million worth of Fifa- accredited stadium lights were installed.
“There were also more improvements on the way, worth millions of rands.”
One of the members of the supporters club revealed the feeling of anger and betrayal after their years of loyal support.
“I understand it’s difficult to keep the club afloat, but he [Delvaux] must think about the fans who have always supported the club through thick and thin,” the fan who wished to remain anonymous said.
“I’ve been to their homeground, Umhlathuze Sports Complex, a couple of times and the fans have always filled it to the rafters.
“Football is the beautiful game and that’s what we want to enjoy.”