SuperSport United need to be more like Wits, says Stanley Matthews

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Matsatsantsa are hoping to move their home games from the Lucas Moripe Stadium in the future

SuperSport United could have a new home in the coming seasons with the club currently in talks over a potential deal to move to the Caledonian Stadium.

Matsatsantsa currently call the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville home, but it seems the club’s hierarchy are growing concerned by the lack of supporters at the stadium. Their current home stadium has a capacity of close to 30000, but even with their domestic success, it has proven an endless struggle to fill the stadium.

Nonetheless, SuperSport’s Chief Executive Officer Stanley Matthews has revealed that the club are looking to move to a more compact venue as they hope to create a more intimate atmosphere. However, a move to a new venue is unlikely to materialise during the 2017/2018 Premier Soccer League season.

“We are in talks with the city council about taking over Caledonian Stadium and reviving it‚” Matthews told The Times.

“We feel that it could be a viable solution for us‚ a 6000-7000 seater stadium‚ close to the city hub where people can walk to the game.

"There is a cosmopolitan crowd and we wouldn’t be far from our base in Atteridgeville‚ Laudium‚ Soshanguve‚ Mabopane‚ Ga-Rankuwa and other surrounding areas.

“We would still be close enough for those fans to support the team‚ plus we can attract a new cosmopolitan and African market that lives in the inner-city,” Matthews expressed.

"That’s what we are pursuing at the moment. If that fails‚ we are going to sit down again and think about our location as a club… It’s a sensitive discussion.

"It’s not something that we are just going to leap into,” Matthews added.

"We’ve turned down a number of offers to relocate that would have been financially good for the club but they would have taken us away from our existing and loyal crowd.

"If I had an extra 5000 supporters coming to watch our games‚ I would have extra money to buy one or two players. I don’t have that at the moment.

"If the fans are not speaking through the turnstiles‚ I can’t change the reality of where the club is. This is a delicate balance that all clubs face,” Matthews continued.

Matthews also admitted that SuperSport want to follow the model of Bidvest Wits, whose home stadium has a capacity of just 5000.

“We’ve tried really hard in increasing the fan base and we’ve kind of accepted where we are now at around 5500-6000 level‚” Matthews said.

“That’s our level. To try and fill Lucas Moripe as a club‚ we won’t be able to do that. We don’t have the following. We’ve been at it over 15 years in and around Atteridgeville.

"We need to be more like (Bidvest) Wits‚ play in a 5000‚ 6000 or 10 000 seater stadium like most of the clubs in Africa.

"And then suddenly the same stands with 5500 looks fantastic‚ there is a vibe and looks intimidating. It’s no coincident that Wits have picked up a lot of points at home.

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"The stands are close to the pitch and it’s more intimidating. It’s not easy for teams to come and roll Wits over as‚ I felt it was the case when they played in Nelspruit.

"It wasn’t suitable for them. Now we find ourselves in the same position‚ playing in big stadiums that even with your respectable 5000-6000 fans‚ there isn’t the vibe that you are looking for,” he concluded.

 

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