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English boss: Invest in foreigners 07/04/05
English Premier League chairperson Dave Richards claims South African clubs competing in the Castle Premiership should attempt to sign foreign stars in a bid to improve the standard of local football.

The Englishman has just completed a series of meetings with the Minister of Sport Mankenkisi Stofile, PSL CEO Trevor Phillips and PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza in Gauteng.

He believes Zimbabwean international Peter Ndlovu's arrival at Mamelodi Sundowns at the beginning of this season should be the start of a new revolution in South African soccer.

 "Our Premier League took off when a number of leading foreign stars joined our clubs," Richards told News24.

"The standard improved dramatically and we have not looked back. There are bags of potential in the PSL and I have seen a lot of improvement. I would suggest that the PSL should encourage more players like Peter Ndlovu to play here."

The big-spending Brazilians, who are bankrolled by tycoon Patrice Motsepe, forked out close to R2milllion for the former Coventry City and Sheffield United striker. Ndlovu is believed to be earning R160 000 a month - a figure that easily makes him the highest paid player in the Castle Premiership.

Richards claims he understands that the majority of local clubs do not have the finances to employ players at those rates, but cites former internationals who are close to the end of their careers as potential targets.

"I realise that PSL clubs cannot afford the stars that we are able to attract because of the difference in value between the pound and the rand," said Richards.

"But players like Ndlovu, who are near the end of their careers, could do wonders for the PSL in terms of experience and star quality."

Everything, however, was not just directed at the future as Richards added that he was impressed with the progress South African football has made over the past decade.

He added: "I have seen a lot of progress in South Africa since 1994. I believe that by 2010 this country will have caught up with leading European nations."

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