Ajax Cape Town boss Ari Efstathiou might have accepted that his team will be taking part in the National First Division in the new season, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of buying another club’s status in the PSL.
“We will be back next year,” those were the words of Efstathiou after the announcement that Ajax will play in the NFD.
But with Bloemfontein Celtic in a financial crisis and Ajax considering buying their way back into the PSL, there's still a glimmer of hope for the club fans.
Efstathiou said that if there's a club that is willing to sell their PSL status, he will consider buying it provided it's affordable.
“I don’t think it would be too late. If something would be available and affordable, we will look at it but I don’t know what the rules of the league are,” said Efstathiou.
Bloemfontein Celtic owner Max Tshabalala admitted a while ago that the club was up for sale as he is struggling to keep the club afloat following MTN's decision to withdraw their sponsorship.
The rules of the league, according to the National Soccer League (NSL) handbook under Members of the League article 10.4 to 10.7, state that: 'Member clubs must submit their annual membership forms in compliance with the NSL Handbook by 30 June each year.
'In the event of late submission of the membership form any amount of money that may otherwise have been payable by the League to a Member Club will be forfeited for each month or part thereof that the form is outstanding. If the membership form is still outstanding on 1 August then the Member Club will forfeit all matches until such time as the membership form is received'.
The Urban Warriors have to move quickly if they are keen on taking part in the league this season.
Efstathiou needs to ensure that their application to buy a status meets all the requirements of the PSL Executive Committee to avoid any possible delay in order to be able to apply for the late club membership before 1 August or risk forfeiting their matches until they submit their membership.
With Celtic still up for sale and Ajax thinking of buying their way back, Efstathiou could be tempted to make one final attempt to save his side’s top-flight football status as they will lose about R40 to R45 million if they play in the NFD.