Five times PSL status was bought, AmaZulu, Black Aces


This is due to the PSL’s rules allowing the sale of franchises. While many agree that the cash injection into the League may be a good thing, the counter-argument is that often teams with community roots are left to wither once the franchise has been sold on.

Another argument against buying your status is that sporting integrity is thrown right out of the window, with the battle for promotion and relegation taking on less significance if a club can just buy their way back after relegation.

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And now, with AmaZulu reportedly set to buy Black Aces' PSL status following their relegation last season, looks at some of the teams who have bought their way back into the top-flight since 1996.
Crystal Brains - Michau Warriors
Promoted from the National Second Division as play-off runners-up, KZN side Crystal Brains campaigned in the 1996 Coca-Cola Challenge (a mini-season to fill the gap as the League re-oriented itself into an August/May campaign, to align itself with the European Leagues). However, they were outclassed, and scored only five points from their 17 matches, recording only one win. The management realised they were on a hiding to nothing and sold the franchise to PE-based businessman Michau Huisaman, who assembled a team of local talent and some journeymen veterans. Despite a late-season surge, the team were relegated at the end of the 1996/97 campaign. They carried on for another season in the Second Division, then faded into obscurity.

Cape Town Spurs - Mother City
With Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs merging to form Ajax Cape Town, the ‘spare’ franchise Spurs was snapped up at auction by a group of Cape businessmen and renamed Mother City. Sadly, their football acumen didn’t match their business skills, and City were relegated after an abysmal season.

Hellenic - Premier United
Hellenic were in dire straits with just three points from 16 matches in the Premiership. The beleaguered owners put the club up for sale and the franchise was bought by Premier United. Part of the deal was that the clubs would swap squads - Premier's players would campaign in the PSL under the name Hellenic, and the Hellenic mob would play First Division, under the name Premier United. As a result, 27 (Hellenic) and 31 (Premier) players played for the 'team' during the campaign. The PSL side were relegated, and the team in the First Division also got the drop!

Tembisa Classic - Maritzburg United
Tembisa Classic, after just one season back in the top-flight, sold their franchise to Maritzburg United and relocated to Maritzburg. Sadly, the new side finished last in the standings and were relegated. Because a club’s name change has to be ratified at the League’s AGM, which had already taken place, the new Maritzburg club had to play under the name of Tembisa Classic for the next season.
Dynamos – AmaZulu
AmaZulu, following their relegation in 2001/02, had briefly re-appeared in the 2003/04 season as Zulu Royals, but were relegated. However, the club re-emerged in 2006/07 as AmaZulu after a local businessman, Patrick Sokhela, bought Dynamos’ franchise. AmaZulu finished second-last in the League but retained their status by way of winning the play-offs.

Premier United - Thanda Royal Zulu
Premier United, after a season in the top tier in which they survived the relegation play-offs on goal-difference (they’d been promoted after the 2005/06 season), sold out to Thanda Royal Zulu and moved to Durban. Thanda only lasted two seasons, and were relegated at the end of the 2008/09 campaign.

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