Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp's absence in Tuesday’s Carling Black Label Cup launch has fueled speculation that the German mentor could be shown the exit door.
The German tactician was a noticeable absentee at the event which took place at Park Station in Johannesburg.
However, his assistant Shaun Bartlett stated that the organizers did not invite head coaches to the launch of the pre-season competition which features Orlando Pirates and Chiefs.
“He (Middendorp) is around. The invitation that was extended to us was for the captain and assistant coach. So, I came,” Bartlett told the media.
Middendorp's counterpart Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic was present at the launch, but Bartlett said it may because Pirates' assistant coaches are in the country.
“I don’t think their (Pirates) assistant coaches are in the country due to a pre-season trip overseas for coaching or training," he continued.
Recent reports have indicated that Middendorp and Bartlett could be fired by Chiefs following a disastrous 2018/19 campaign.
Furthermore, Amakhosi released a statement on Friday - stating that they will make changes to their technical team ahead of the new season.
However, Bartlett made it clear that they will be in charge of the team next season.
“Nothing has been communicated to me that I won’t be (at the club next season). As far as we know as the technical team we will all be there," he added.
“As far as strengthening, we will be looking at one or two in a certain position to make sure we have all areas covered," he concluded.