Moroka Swallows are 'here to stay'

Moroka Swallows MD Leon Prins on Monday described weekend reports that the Birds’ multimillionaire majority shareholder Dieter Bock was poised to sell his interests in the Soweto Premier Soccer League club as “a lot of hogwash”.

“We are here to stay,” was the message from a noticeably incensed Prins, who said he has become resigned to a segment of the South African soccer media providing “morbid, cynically compiled fiction” rather than accurate news items.

“It’s a fact of life we have to live with,” said the Swallows MD, “like a bad odour from a blocked drain. But it won’t deter us from achieving our objectives of rebuilding Swallows to its former heights of glory and making the club one of the most feared and respected in the country.”

Prins said the Birds’ revival since Bock secured control of the club three years ago from former majority shareholder David Chabeli has been “nothing short of remarkable”.

“Swallows have been transformed from a team struggling perennially for survival in the relegation zone to one challenging for the Premier League championship in each of the last three seasons,” he said, “annexing the prestigious Absa Cup title in the progress. Yet the sniping continues unabated.

“And, this is only the start of a long-term blueprint for Swallows that has been designed to make the club soar even higher under the control of Mr Bock.”

The German-born entrepreneur currently has a more than 85% shareholding in Swallows, but a maverick group of minority shareholders has continually baulked at accepting the improvements and regained respectability achieved by the Birds since Bock’s takeover.

While reports over the weekend circulated about a new regime assuming control of Swallows, Prins revealed news of the renewal of coach Gavin Hunt’s contract for a further two years; the imminent signing of a top Senegalese striker, among several new signings; and the expansion of a development programme that has already met with considerable success.—Sapa


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