Yes, but with talks "behind the scenes" ongoing, the League’s emergency strategy remains confidential.
That was CEO Mato Madlala’s stance when contacted by the Siya crew on how the Coronavirus is affecting the PSL following the suspension of football matches in an already fragile economy.
"Our chairman (Irvin Khoza) had a meeting with the sponsors before lockdown and, at the time, we were discussing the possibility of playing behind closed doors. We discussed our wish to finish the season by June 30 along with the board of governors, as you know, and we said we are flexible depending on what the government says. It was all dependent on following regulations," Madlala explained.
President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered that, unless it is an essential service, there will be no movement in the country until April 16.
That automatically meant that there would be no football, and that players and coaches would have to wait before returning to the training pitch and be confined to their homes.
"But this applies to any of the corporates and companies who are in this same lockdown situation. If this carries on for longer, everyone starts panicking. It is not only limited to soccer. If we say there is no contingency plan, it’s like we are sitting on our hands and not working behind the scenes.
"Those discussions are happening behind the scenes, but the mandate we have for now is to finish by June 30. We can’t sit as a leadership and do nothing. I know for a fact that the chairman hasn’t stopped working behind the scenes – but those discussions are confidential."
Madlala did not backtrack on the League’s promise to continue paying the R2 million monthly grants to all 16 teams, but admitted that the concern is not knowing for certain on when things will return to normality – that cuts into their revenue!
"We said to the clubs ‘for now’, and that is our approach," she added. “We cannot stand in front of them and say irrespective of when we finish the season their grants are safe because we don’t know how long this (COVID-19) is going to last. So, with everything we are saying or committing to at the moment, we say 'for now'. We have delivered the same message to the PSL staff. It is like the UIF – we know that’s for six months and, after that, things change."
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