PREMIER league giants Lioli are having a difficult season that has been marred by on and off the field problems that have seen the club without a victory in four of their last league matches.
Tse Nala on Sunday suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to LMPS, which left the club in danger of missing out on a top four place finish to their campaign for the first time in six seasons.
While Lioli had a promising start to the new campaign following the appointment of veteran coach Lehlohonolo Thotanyana and Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu, beating rivals Bantu in the Independence Cup final last October, the situation has deteriorated since then.
Last week, there were reports that the club’s players failed to report for training because the team could not afford their taxi fares to their training base in Teyateyaneng.
It was not for the first time this season that Tse Nala had made headlines over financial struggles. The club has conceded multiple times that they paid their players and coaches late.
The season has also been marred by infighting within its management, which led to the sacking of former public relations officer, Tšeliso Lerata and two others.
I can go on and on about the struggles that the club has had both on and off the field this season but this speaks volumes about the state of affairs at the club despite its colourful history in the last decade.
It is for this reason why I’m thinking maybe; it’s time for the club president, Lebohang Thotanyana, to call it a day as the club boss and give others a chance.
He will be the first to admit that the 2018/19 could go down as the worst season since he took over the reins as the president of the club.
Credit must be given where it’s due and Ntate Thotanyana has done well as the president. Trophies are there to prove it.
He is currently the most successful president in club football as Lioli has won four Premier League titles as well as winning every other available trophy under his leadership.
They have been the most successful team along with Bantu in the last decade and both him and A Matšo Matebele president John Leuta, should be given credit for the work they have put in to transform these two clubs.
But based on the problems that the team has encountered in the last two years, I feel he should make way for change and give others a chance to bring in new ideas.
The manner in which the club parted ways with players such as Mohau Kuenane, Jerry Kamela and Bushy Moletsane could have also been handled better.
The trio had played a huge role in the club’s success the in the last decade and I still feel that they still had a lot to offer for the team had they (the club and the players) been humble enough to put their differences aside.
I think letting Moletsane leave for free has come back to haunt Tse Nala and has worked wonders for Matlama, where he could end the season with a Premier League winner’s medal.
I believe from all this, the Lioli management has learnt a lesson and will use it to improve the team going forward.
Like I have always said, local football has always been entertaining when all the big guns are competitive and performing well.
I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate former Likuena captain Lehlohonolo Seema, who has continued to grow as a coach at Bloemfontein Celtic.
Seema last Saturday led Celtic to their first win over Kaizer Chiefs in almost a decade and has helped the team to continue grinding positives results despite difficult working conditions.
He took over after Steve Komphela walked out due to off-the field problems that have marred the club this season.
The Free State outfit has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this season including failing to pay its players’ salaries on several occasions.
The situation was not helped by the recent protests by their supporters, who ran riot during their game against Cape Town City, which led to the match being called off.
City have since been awarded the three points for that match.