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SA SOCCER NEWS

Khoza - 'I'm not neglecting Pirates'


Orlando Pirates Chairman Irvin Khoza has dismissed concerns by the club's supporters that he is neglecting the team by concentrating on other footballing commitments.

Khoza told The City Press that he remained very much hands-on and operated from the club's Parktown offices on a daily basis.

He maintained that he has the final say on all transactions that go on at the club, including signing players, because there was a problem in delegating such vital aspects.

"I cannot always delegate because I have had a bad experience with that. Sometimes people do as they wish. I know everything that is happening at the club from the development side because I am always here," he said.

Khoza added that he was not running a one-man show as there were other responsibilities which did not need him.

The 'Iron Duke', as Khoza is affectionately known in football circles, accused the club's supporters of being myopic, saying it was natural that every club goes through a lean spell.

"As much as I respect our supporters, they must also learn to accept that football is a cycle," said Khoza.

"What surprises me is that when the team does well they praise the coaches, but when the team goes through difficult times, they point a finger at the management.

"We are trying our level best to change the club's fortunes as we are also not happy about what is going on."

Khoza added that Pirates have never, in the last 10 years, been in a situation like the current, which made it understandable for the supporters to panic.

The 'Iron Duke', however, has attributed Pirates bad spell to the "taxing CAF African Champions League".

"Playing in the continent with only 17 players was too taxing and it was expected that in the long-run, fatigue would catch up. Hence I am of the view that the league should revert back to the old calendar system," he said.

Meanwhile, Khoza said the discipline factor at the club was a major concern to him, but said it was getting special attention.

The 'Iron Duke' added that he was happy that the players were responding well to their discipline problems. He said that as much as the club has the responsibility to educate the players, it was also up to them to lead a positive life.

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Sunday, January 28
Castle Premiership

Swallows v Premier United 
Kick-off: 3.45pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

January 20
Castle Premiership
Draw 0-0 v Pirates
Venue: Ellis Park

January 14
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v Silver Stars
Venue: Germiston Stadium

January 10
Castle Premiership
Lost 0-1 v Supersport
Venue:
 Loftus Stadium

Sunday, January 7
Castle Premiership
Draw 2-2 v Leopards
Venue:
Germiston Stadium

Wednesday, December 20
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v AmaZulu
Venue: Princess Magogo

POLL
Where will the \'Beautiful Birds\' finish this season?

Win the league
 6%
Top three
 19%
Top five
 38%
Top eight
 38%