UITENHAGE-BORN businessman, Butityi Konki, may be in the queue to purchase ailing Port Elizabeth-based First Division soccer side Bay United.
Konki, who is International Boxing Federation lightweight contender Ali Funeka’s business manager, said he would not have a problem being the club’s new owner after United owners, Izingwe Holdings’ decision to get rid of the club.
Izingwe Holdings threw in the towel after United’s failure to return to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) next season.
“Izingwe Holdings regrets to announce that Bay United Football Club will immediately cease conducting business while beginning an extensive process that may lead to the sale of the club,” a statement released by the club said.
“I’m going to speak to my legal advisers in Port Elizabeth about whether to get involved at Bay United or not. I could be interested in the club as many people have called asking me to buy it,” said Konki.
Apart from the club’s failure to return to the PSL, the owners say there were other issues that prompted them to give up on Umlilo.
These included the PSL’s imposition of a R1.3 million liability following the club’s retrenchment of players at the end of the 2008/9 season.
Their unsuccessful attempts to get financial and other forms of sponsorship assistance from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the Eastern Cape provincial government and commercial sponsors, also contributed to Izingwe Holdings’ decision. “We will engage with all the creditors of the club, including the players. No final decision will be taken until discussions have been held with all relevant parties.
“We undertake to do our best to resolve this matter in the best interests of all parties,” said club boss Sipho Pityana.
Pityana tried to sell United to Konki after they were relegated from the PSL at the end of last season, but the deal fell through.
Pityana informed Konki last year that he was selling United for R15m, but the Johannesburg-based businessman said he was prepared to part with only R5m. “There was no way that I could pay that kind of money for a team that had just been relegated from the PSL.
“I was only prepared to pay R5m but I got no response after writing to Pityana indicating my interest,” said Konki.
– By MONWABISI JIMLONGO
source: Daily Dispatch