Following the team’s dismal performance against Chippa United where Kaizer Chiefs suffered their heaviest league defeat in almost a decade, Steve Komphela and his players were summoned to an emergency meeting by the club bosses.
According to the club, the meeting lasted for five hours, and one of the most important decisions Kaizer Motaung made was to let Komphela finish the season as head coach.
This despite growing calls from disgruntled Amakhosi fans for the 50-year-old to bite the dust.
Had the Chiefs chairman fired Komphela after that defeat to Chippa, it would have be an admission that they have been wrong all along to stand by him and that would have affected the little fighting spirit that's left in the players.
While Komphela has made mistakes in the past, sidelining certain players, poor team selection and tactically being toppled by his counterparts on a number of occasions, the management should also account and shoulder part of the blame.
Komphela has made use of what is available to him, and results are there for everyone to see, that the team is just not good enough, and that simply says the he's not the only problem at the club.
Chairman Kaizer Motaung gave Komphela his backing when the majority of fans thought the coach would be fired – at the end of last season – especially after finishing the campaign without even reaching a single cup final.
Now, Chiefs are in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup, and Komphela has the chance to at least repay Motaung’s faith in him by winning the trophy, although it’s not going to be easy as the other three teams are also good enough to win it.
Chiefs rightfully said that the timing is just not right to make wholesale changes, and while many would disagree, it's important to note that firing Komphela would have destabilised the team.
It would have also been seen as a betrayal to Komphela, who has worked so hard for the team to be in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.
In all honesty, there’s nothing a new coach would do at this stage of the season. Allowing Komphela to finish what he started was the right thing to do, and let him be judged after the expiry of his contract and not by a single heavy defeat which was bound to happen anyway given how poor the team has been in terms of quality in recent years.
When Chiefs hired Kostadin Papic towards the end of the 2006/07 PSL season, his mandate was to improve the team's position on the log and lift the players, but things took a nosedive and the club even finished outside the top eight.
Surely, Chiefs learnt a hard lesson at the time, and with Komphela’s contract running out in June, it only makes sense to let him stay on until after the final game of the season before pulling the trigger.
The overhaul Chiefs promised in their statement will surely include the technical team, and again, even if Komphela wins the Nedbank Cup, it doesn’t look like it would be enough to save his job.