First Division calendar likely to change

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While the matter is still under discussion at PSL Board of Governors level, the organisation’s CEO Kjetil Siem said that the 2007/2008 season was played over three rounds totalling 21 matches per club because of the late start to the season.

“The monthly grants paid to the clubs will also be re-looked, but these are all matters to be discussed by the PSL’s Board of Governors,” said Siem.

“With the best players in action in the top league, a National First Division does not have the same commercial value of a Premiership league anywhere around the world in soccer, but it is important that the lower league is nurtured as it has a key role to play in the soccer structure.”

Following the withdrawal of the league title sponsors Mvela Holdings, the clubs and PSL management agreed on splitting the 16 teams into a Coastal and Inland pools of eight teams each, with each club receiving a monthly increase from the 2006/2007 figure of R50 000, to the current figure of R150 000.

Mpumalanga Black Aces General Manager Peter Koutroulis said that he had forwarded a proposal regarding the 28-match approach, to the PSL, as the current state of playing 21 matches in a season was not ideal.

“We currently receive R150 000 per month from the PSL, but it costs around R500 000 per month to run the club, and as we do not have a sponsor, the deficit has to be funded out of the owners’ pockets,” said Koutroulis.

Clearly, with the PSL looking at running the league on a two-stream basis for the new season, it seems clear that a new sponsor has yet to come forward to back the national First Division.