The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Bongani Tshabalala

Former Bloemfontein  Celtic Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Konco was sacked on Monday night following a long suspension in a move club owner Max Tshabalala termed retrenchment due to necessary cost-cutting at the struggling franchise.

Siwelele were recently slapped with a one-year transfer ban by FIFA following their refusal to pay former goalkeeper Patrick Tingyemb. Apparently the club blamed Konco for the ban and decided to suspend him when he refused to apologize to the Cameroonian.

According to a close friend to Konco and the club, he is not taking the matter lying down as he plans to take the case forward.

“Khumbulani was fired at Celtic yesterday,” said the friend who wanted to remain anonymous due to acrimony.

“He is claiming R5 million from the club for unfair dismissal, and the money that the club owes him.

Celtic Spokesman Sello Nduna could not deny or confirm that Kinco has been sacked.

Bloemfontein Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco was suspended in February.

Bloemfontein Celtic owner Max Tshabalala has said that suspended CEO Khumbulani Konco has been retrenched.

Sacked Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco.

It had reported on Tuesday that Konco has quit‚ his desk been cleared out and the announcement of this development will be made at a press conference on Wednesday midday.

However, Tshabalala‚ reached to confirm the report‚ that Konco has been retrenched from the club that has had well documented financial troubles‚ as has its chairman‚ and been put up for sale on a few occasions in the past three to four years.

“What I know is that Khumbulani is part of the top management that we have retrenched‚” Tshabalala said.

“You know the team doesn’t have a sponsor‚ and we have retrenched some of our top management.

“We started with our junior staff about a year ago. And now we are cutting the senior staff where we feel the team can do without.

“And it’s not done because of malicious intention. It’s just that the team doesn’t have a sponsor I’m running the team out of my pocket. So, I am trying to cut. And you can’t cut players because you will get relegated.”

Tshabalala said the position of CEO will be filled internally‚ but could not confirm which current employee will do that.

“Not for now. We are not going to employ anybody. There is a duplication of positions internally one coming to CEO‚ and general manager‚” he said.

“So, people who have been doing the job‚ the very same people will be doing the job.”

There had been reports of a fallout‚ and a screaming match‚ between Tshabalala and Konco that led to the CEO’s suspension in February. Tshabalala said Konco’s retrenchment has no relation to that clash.

“No‚ nothing to do with it. The fallout was not even that it was a misunderstanding‚” the Celtic chairman said.

“Because I wanted some stuff being done‚ and maybe Khumbulani wanted to do it this way. But it had nothing to do with it.”

Konco was reached on his cell phone‚ but said he could not confirm whether the reports were correct that he is quitting‚ or Tshabalala’s version that he has been retrenched.

Konco has served as Celtic’s CEO for a number of years‚ under various owners‚ and was in charge of the Free State team’s day-to-day running.

Speaking as friend Rantsi Mokoena General Manager of Free State Stars after the media briefing which was held through virtual platform, “I have attended this press conference as a friend and a brother to Khumbulani Konco and I don’t wish to disturb the journalists in doing their job, however, I would like to publicly  wish him well with his future plans and I hope that football still has space for a young black experienced administrator who has given the best years of his young life to football. 

“His experience as a football administrator is well documented and I am certain that there is space for him in this industry at a higher level than at club level. Good luck brother.” said Mokoena.