Royal AM’s troubles with the Premier Soccer League look set to escalate after the league added to their now long charge sheet when they made an initial appearance before the disciplinary committee last week.
PSL prosecutor Nande Becker confirmed to Sowetan yesterday that the controversial club had made an appearance for charges related to their on-field cash bonus saga in their match against Maritzburg United earlier this month, but that more charges had been added, including failing to provide sufficient match balls and allowing hangers-on to walk around the pitch without masks.
The KwaZulu-Natal outfit stole the limelight when they paraded wads of cash during scenes of jubilation after they beat Maritzburg 2-1 at Chatsworth Stadium, leading to widespread criticism that prompted the PSL to haul them before the DC.
Becker confirmed more charges had been added stemming from the club’s various transgressions since owner Shauwn Mkhize acquired the status of Bloemfontein Celtic and renamed it Royal in August.
“There are a lot of charges besides that one of the cash [bonus] on the field,” Becker said.
“Firstly, they were charged with paying the players in public. They were also charged for not having adequate security at the match, resulting in everybody going onto the field afterwards.”
Another charge relates to match formalities where Royal players apparently failed to pitch for a pre-match picture against Maritzburg.
“They were also charged for allowing people to walk around the field without masks. They were then charged for having 10 and not 11 match balls, as required by the rules. You need 11 match balls, you have 22 players and need to warm up, and it’s there in the rules. All of that has been included. Hopefully, we will finalise that on the 28th [of October].”
Becker also revealed that Royal had pleaded guilty to all but one of the charges – that they didn’t provide sufficient security – when they made an appearance last Thursday.
“They have pleaded guilty to some of the charges – not for the security one – but that’s not a problem because we should finalise everything next week.”
Interestingly, Royal’s charges are seen as completely new, meaning their previous case with the PSL of not pitching for the playoffs when they were in the national first division, is not taken into account after they were slapped with a suspended fine.
“You must remember we are dealing with a new team here as the old Royal AM, so these offences are different, it won’t affect this one.”
Despite the controversy that has surrounded them, Royal have been doing well on the field of play, having won their last four matches in succession and are fifth on the DStv Premiership log standings with 12 points from six games. They face 15th-placed Marumo Gallants this afternoon. © Sowetan