The Kaizer Chiefs Board of Directors and Management,
Our Esteemed Sponsors and Business Partners,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen
This evening continues our tradition of gathering the Kaizer Chiefs family of players, officials, friends and partners to celebrate another drama laced and an exciting season of football in the forty two years of our business.
I therefore appreciate your presence and hope that you find all our efforts to host you at the Kaizer Chiefs Players’ Awards evening, a worthwhile experience.
Football, being our core business demands that we specifically recognise and reward the contribution of the Technical Team and the Players as organs that are central to our delivery.
Although this is the case, we are however cognisant of the contribution of other behind-the-scene members of the family whose sacrifice, leadership and talent are crucial to our recipe and crucible of success. I thank you for being our part of history and for ensuring that our light is constantly fuelled to shine in the lives of the many we serve and touch.
Our internal operation machinery is still holding fort to ensure that the organisation is steered in the right direction. We haven’t had any major movement of personnel; something that has stabilized our course. Thanks to our Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and our Management Team for a sterling contribution.
Except for the loss of the Standard Bank sponsorship, I am thankful to the contribution of NIKE, Hollard, NISSAN and VODACOM our corporate partners. We have come a long way as partners to enjoy our partnership that has survived and overcame all challenges in the world of commerce and business. I still appreciate your support to the awards this evening and may therefore commit the entire family of Kaizer Chiefs to treat you with respect and honour your spirit of giving. I am therefore humbled by your generosity and pray we sustain our corporate union that will keep our business afloat in the coming season.
I am also thankful to our staff for unselfishly serving the organisation through their GOD-given talents. From our field maintenance to office personnel, to Supporters Club members, I believe we have successfully worked towards realising a common goal that we pursued in the former season. Whilst I acknowledge the various administrative challenges we faced constantly, I am mindful of your commitment and character that stood resolute to overcome and succeed. May I thus thank you for accommodating our often unplanned shortcomings by simply executing your daily assignments with love and commitment.
May I also thank our generous supporters that sacrifice their meagre resources to get to our stadiums during our home and away assignments. Although we often slip and slide against some better opposition on playing days, I am humbled by your constant never-failing attitude that supports our team through hardship and success. We are committed to sustain the family and hope to yet see you in the incumbent season. Kindly wear your gold and black with pride and continue to mobilise in numbers as a demonstration of your patriotism and love for everything that Kaizer Chiefs stands for.
Through sacrifice that is often compatible to debilitating suffering of emotional and physical strain, our frontline and rearguard on-the-field soldiers (players) have again registered our infinite desire to succeed in the exciting world of football.
With the support of the able Medical Team we managed to rise above adversity when they worked tirelessly to restore the likes of Reneiloe Letsholonyane and others back to life at the time they were declared medically unfit to finish the season. May I thank our Medical Team for a job well done.
Admittedly though, our 2011/12 race for the Premiership title and its many offerings was hampered by unsavoury dramatic escapades that played themselves off-the-field in most instances. From changing our captaincy to witnessing a debilitating decline in performance as a result of change-room shenanigans, our course derailed and landed us in an unenviable position of fighting to remain in the top eight brackets.
The loss of silverware and failure to qualify for others compounded our challenges not because Kaizer Chiefs could not compete, but because of external influences that may not claim any space in the annuls of football.
To rub salt into the wounds, we have had to cushion a host of relational breakdowns between the Head of the Technical Team and some players that had incurred some unfounded wrath following an expression of differences in opinion and rational. In the process, some players were openly rattled by the growing instability that resulted into a subtle expression of discontent and disillusionment.
All these and many others called us to make a critical albeit necessary decision to reconsider the position of the then Head Coach with six matches of the league remaining and before reaching the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup. As expected, the incumbent Technical Team of Doctor Khumalo and Donald Khuse have had to tackle the bull by its horns to restore personal order and player moral whilst faced with formidable opposition in the league and cup competition. Of course the unfamiliar loss in four consecutive matches confirmed our challenges and earnestly implored us to dig deep into our inner conscience in search of solutions.
The past season we also became our own architects of ruin by constantly attracting bad publicity through our recklessness in the media. The tensions created obviously had some effect on and off the field of play much to the disappointment of many.
I must emphasise my intolerance of any form of misconduct particularly when it undermines the gains of the past forty two years of a history that is rich with success and achievement. I still abhor the booing of players and missile throwing at a time when our team needs our supporters to rally behind their efforts.
May I remind all that our brand and the growth of the Kaizer Chiefs family has been based on a principled belief of LOVE AND PEACE. It would help us a great deal if we could join hands together to find immediate solutions to our challenges instead of subjecting our team to ridicule when the chips are down. May I also charge us all with a responsibility to uphold the mission and vision of an entity that developed over the years through GOD’s grace and a humble commitment of the erstwhile founder members, players, staff and supporters.
In response to the negativity, we have moved hastily to stabilise the Technical Department by acquiring the services of Stuart Baxter who will be assisted by an unchanged support structure of Doctor Khumalo, Donald Khuse, Reiner Dinkelacker and Arthur Zwane.
We are also looking into reinforcing our team; something that is already underway following the acquisition of the experienced Siboniso Gaxa. We shall obviously work tirelessly to redeem ourselves despite the known challenges surrounding the movement of players in the off season whilst reforming our playing squad.
To pacify our supporters, our Supporters Club Crew worked jointly with the Marketing Department to quell the mounting discontent. We shall continue on such a programme during recess and throughout the season to engage our passionate supporters in different localities.
There is also a lot of progress to reconstruct our development programme. We are holding talks with credible institutions of Higher Learning and technically astute personnel to strike a sustainable developmental relationship that will balance both the academic and the football aspects of our envisaged Youth Academy.
Starting from our preseason preparations, we have already committed to the Carling Cup and the VODACOM Challenge. We hope to use these competitions to assess our arsenal moving forward.
All these and many other factors should be considered as hallmark signs that make each one of us a true warrior that fights to salvage the Kaizer Chiefs dignity.
I believe that we have learnt some valuable lessons to sharpen our hunger for glory in the new season and may thus work as a TEAM to sustain our values and obligations.
In a true spirit of forgetting the past by applying lessons gathered, our Management machinery is hard at work to lay the ground and refuel our vessel as the 2012/13 football season beckons.
Let us therefore celebrate by embracing our mandate and perform beyond our call of duty in response to a massive responsibility we carry both as a united Kaizer Chiefs brand and a passionate family.
I strongly believe that we have been tested enough in 2011/12 to emerge re-energized and focussed on the road ahead. Let us begin by forgiving ourselves by knuckling down to the business of doing business in this exciting world of football.
To players that may or may not lift any award this evening, I wish to challenge you to work hard to put Kaizer Chiefs in the nerve centre of domination of both the league and cup championships in the coming season. I wish to emphasise that the Kaizer Chiefs jersey has proven to be naturally immersed with pressure for success and any player that had donned and expressed the wish, has had to be of a determined and tenacious make-up to achieve. I believe we CAN!
May I also thank all players that may not be part of our family in the new season. I wish you success in your new endeavours and pray that you carry the experience of Kaizer Chiefs into your new-found host families.
As I thank our Marketing Department, the Football Department and the team that organised this event, may we enjoy this evening with eyes that are not preoccupied by temporal obstacles but with those that piercingly foresee beyond horizons of our immediate challenges and successes.
May I also reiterate my hearty thanks to our sponsors and every one that has made this evening possible.
I challenge everyone gathered this evening to develop a mentality that does not judge Kaizer Chiefs through the eyes of ninety minutes on the field of play, but to consider our brand as an entity that impacts our lives beyond the realms of football. I subscribe to the ideals of TEAM WORK to sustain our slogan of Love and Peace!
As I conclude, may I congratulate our neighbours Orlando Pirates for lifting the 2012 ABSA Premiership trophy and equally applaud the efforts of Moroka Swallows for ensuring that the silverware and celebrations remain in SOWETO.
I thank you.