League changes focus on power failures, media briefings


Siem says that the focus for the next three years will be on South Africa with the World Cup to be hosted here in 2010 and in the lead-up to the showpiece, the PSL will come under scrutiny, not only for the quality of the beautiful game on the field, but for the way the league handles itself on the administrative front as well.

“It’s with this in mind that the PSL used the mid-season break to good effect,” Siem says in a statement on the League’s website today.

“A workshop was held last month with all the top flight clubs. Key elements discussed at the workshop included the implementation of a media manual and two new procedures that will ensure that games run smoothly on the day.

“The phone meeting three days before a game will involve just the two clubs with the home side leading the way,” said Siem. “Thereafter this information will be taken into a match meeting three hours before a game where the two clubs, the match commissioner and the broadcaster will be present,” added the CEO.

“These meetings will hopefully ensure the smooth running of all our games from now onwards as we lift the level of professionalism in our organization.

“We are putting up incentives for the clubs. We want them to be part of the tournament, but they have to demonstrate to us that they can be professional as well.”

The League CEO added that the second half of the season also presents itself with numerous challenges.

“We as the custodians of the league also want to eradicate the small things that have plagued us in the past. For example, the continuous chopping and changing of fixtures is a bad reflection on us, and although most times it’s beyond our control, we want to keep this to a minimum.”

“It’s for this reason that the PSL have only made public the second round of fixtures up until the end of March.“There are still issues around stadium availability and until such time these are confirmed, only then will the remainder of the fixtures be released.”

The recess period also saw an end to the television rights issue.

With the national broadcaster, the SABC taking the PSL to arbitration due to Supersport International being awarded the broadcast rights for the next five years, it was the PSL who emerged as victors with the arbitrator ruling in favour of the League.

“I want to make it pretty clear that despite the ruling, fans will not be deprived of watching football on free-to-air television,” said Siem.

“In fact according to the television schedules we’ve received from the broadcasters, SABC viewers will get to see more league games this season compared to last season.

“And now that the arbitration saga is in the past we hope that we can continue to build on our good relationship with the SABC as they are definitely one of our key partners as we look to grow in the future.”

According to a report from Sapa, the PSL also disclosed the recommendations it has been made should there be power outrages.

Five PSL games are scheduled to be played next Wednesday.

“A game can be delayed up to four hours but it is up to the referee to call it off completely,” said Siem.

“The latest a game can start is 10.30 pm. However, the lights have to be on by 9.30 pm to give the players time to warm up. If it’s not on by this time (9.30 pm), then the game can be called off,” Siem said referring to games which are scheduled to kick off at 7.30 pm.

The Premiership kicks off on Monday when AmaZulu host Mamelodi Sundowns, in a game scheduled to kick off at 19h30.

“These are recommendations we made but, again, I say it’s up to the ref to wait for the lights to come on or to call it off completely.”

Referring to the media manuel, he said: “Coaches have to speak to the media after a game. Often when a team loses, that coach will not want to say anything but that must change, we have to be more professional,” he said.

“It is not a problem that is unique to South Africa. Coaches in Europe get upset when their team loses and don’t want to talk, but I am hopeful that they will accommodate the TV guys and reporters after the game.

“Players, too, have to speak to the media if they’re asked for, and I’m sure the player who scores a goal or does something good in the game will be asked for, as people will want to know more about that player.”