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SA SOCCER NEWS
Vasco forced to start over 20/08/04
Cape Town First Division club Vasco Da Gama will not be campaigning in the newly formed Mvela Golden League after the club's franchise was sold to a Black Empowerment group in Johannesburg.

This turn of events came about after the club's major shareholder decided to sell-out - leaving the players and management shattered.

Vasco had only just gained promotion to the Coastal First Division last season and did incredibly well, finishing in fifth position on the table, which automatically qualified them to play in the lucrative new Mvela Golden League.

The Parow-based club, which has produced South African soccer legends such as Shaun Bartlett, Andre Arendse, Thabo Mngomeni and Carlos Das Neves, are now hoping to buy a VodaCom second division franchise and fight their way back into the First Division.

"We are looking at three possible clubs, and hope to finalise a deal shortly," said Kenny Gretse, who is a minor shareholder and also and assistant coach to Carlos Das Neves, the former Hellenic midfield maestro.

One club which may be willing to sell their franchise are Second Division team Steenberg United, who are looking themselves at acquiring the First Division franchise of Avendale Athletico.

Gretse, like everyone else involved at the club, was devastated to hear that it had been sold.

"We have certainly learnt from our mistakes - we know now that it is not good to have a major shareholder at the club. No-one ever thought he would sell-out, but now it has happened."

Despite the setback to the club, the majority of the players, as well as the management, are all determined to stay with Vasco, and there will not be a mass exodus of staff leaving the team.

"We are all determined to get back into the First Division. There is a great spirit at the team and the majority of the players have indicated that they will stay with the club," Gertse told SASoccer365.

"In fact, 95% of the players (including former SuperSport United hardman Zane Alexander) have already signed contracts."

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