After winning the Nedbank Cup by shocking Kaizer Chiefs with a 1-0 victory at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in May last year, TS Galaxy have perhaps punched below their weight this season in the GladAfrica Championship.
With Mabhuti Khenyeza now leading the charge to have a go at promotion to the topflight next season following the departure of cup winning coach Dan Malesela, club chairman Tim Sukazi has also pointed out that their CAF Confederation Cup sojourn also took a toll on the players as well as their budget, though participating in the continental competition was a learning experience they would happily take on again.
“People don’t realise we have done miracles with what we have. They will praise us for winning the Nedbank Cup, but they won’t know that to get there, we spent R800 000 to get to that cup final as part of our preparation,” said Sukazi.
For their efforts, Galaxy cliched the R7-million bonanza that comes with winning the cup, but that had to cover players’ bonuses and costs incurred by the club. Another prize was to quality for the Confederation Cup the following season.
“The money did help offset some liabilities, but we were on the negative prior to that, I must admit that. And obviously the players shared half of the prize money, and we had to prepare for the CAF campaign – so that is where the money went,” Sukazi explained.
Galaxy, who receive R500 000 as a monthly grant from the PSL and are funded by the owner through his personal businesses, also had to pay for the costs of their travel and accommodation during three games away from home in the earlier rounds of the tournament.
“We had to go to holiday destination for our matches. We went to the Seychelles and Madagascar and were spent around R487 000 for air tickets and around R420 000 for accommodation. And CAF didn’t make it easier on us by giving us match officials who come from far like the Comoros for our home games – that’s R13800 for one air ticket and you have to pay it. We had to cover their costs and its five of them, including the match commissioner. I am too scared to run the numbers on how much we spent in total for our CAF campaign. It was very expensive,” added Sukazi.
But Sukazi is adamant he would allow his club to endure that experience again and fly the flag for South African football.
They were four places from the bottom of the log table before the league was temporarily suspended due to the Coronavirus.