Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has revealed the finer details that led to him leaving the Soweto giants.
Baxter marked his return to Chiefs in June 2021, before parting ways with the club in April 2022 towards the end of a difficult season in which they were assured to sign off empty-handed.
The ex-Bafana Bafana coach explained how he was always at loggerheads with Chiefs sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jnr.
He details their clashes over fielding younger players and the transfer policy at the club.
“I told everybody at regular meetings why I was being patient with some of the younger players but partly because I thought the older players – the Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat – were ahead of them in the pecking order, but we would work actively to give [the youngsters] minutes and get them in to gradually replace [to the older players] in a couple of seasons,” Baxter told SABC Sport.
“Everybody was ok with that, on the surface. Obviously not now, because the chairman finds it relevant to go out and accuse me of not wanting to play the kids, which is not true.
“[With Kaizer Jnr] we butted heads very early, and I think he realised that if I was around then all these things he wanted to do were not going to be smooth, I wouldn’t want to bring in a player I didn’t need.
“We discussed the way forward for the club, new targets, who should stay and who should go. We didn’t agree on a lot of those things and I think, without saying it, it was just becoming a mission for him to try to make the changes he needed to proceed with his program.”
Following his departure, his then-assistant coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard took over on an interim basis.
But Zwane is now the head coach while Sheppard is his assistant.
Baxter feels there were always “agendas” to get rid of him and his exit was inevitable.
“I didn’t really need a lot of time for reflection. I think it was pretty clear to me what was going on,” continued Baxter.
“After I had Covid around the mid-season break, I realised even before then that there were agendas within the club. Those agendas were going to be satisfied whether I liked it or not, there were going to be things going on in the background, possibly not what I thought was the correct decision but it was going to be done.”
Under Zwane, Chiefs have started the season on a slow note, losing 1-0 to Royal AM and then being handed their heaviest defeat in the PSL era after succumbing to a 4-0 defeat to Sundowns last weekend.
In between the losses, they beat Maritzburg United 3-1 and now prepare to host new boys Richards Bay on Saturday.