JOHANNESBURG: Kaizer Chiefs reluctance to dismiss Steve Kompela for the various reasons they may have had has come back to bite them as they now have another stadium stampede to deal with and also have to deal with a nationwide unhappy fan base.
Komphela joined Amakhosi at the start of the 2015/2016 season with big boots to fill, replacing Stuart Baxter who had left the club after a successful spell where he delivered a satisfactory amount of silverware to the Naturena trophy cabinet.
He started well in his early days and he looked like the real deal as he led Chiefs to two cup finals against Ajax Cape Town in the MTN8 and against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout back in 2015. He however failed to obtain any of those two cups as he lost out in both.
With Komphela failing to deliver any silverware for the third successive season, tensions aroused from the fans as they repeatedly called for his dismissal at the club. A brewing campaign was started and it was dubbed, “#SteveMustFall”. The fans started calling out their dissatisfaction on his performances at the end of the 2016/2017 season but gave him a chance in his contractual season at the club.
The management could hear what the fans wanted but were not willing to let the coach go, perhaps to avoid the money they would have to pay him if he left earlier. That however led to the club having to pay hefty fines as fans took matters in their own hands by vandalising stadium facilities to show their frustration.
They first caused chaos at the FNB Stadium after Chiefs were hammered 3-0 by Chippa United and were fined R250 000 by the PSL DC. R200 000 of that fine was suspended provided they would not be found guilty of a similar incident within the next 24 months.
It was only a matter of time before the fans were at it again, this time vandalising the Moses Mabhida Stadium and injuring a security official in the process in reaction to their 2-0 loss to Komphela’s former side Free State Star in a Nedbank Cup semi-final encounter.
Komphela was then forced to hand in his resignation after the game to end a possible continuation of violence from the fans. The club will possibly have to pay a lot of money for the damages caused by the fans which is reportedly more than R500 000.
The former Maritzburg United coach should have been sacked a while back to void these current situations as he had previously shown that he had no plan to succeed at the club as he worked with three assistant coaches during his three seasons at the club.
He started off working off with Doctor Khumalo, then later worked with his former player John Pantsil and was working with Partick Mabedi when he resigned. No coach is South African history has worked with three assistants in three years at the same club.
Chiefs will now have to deal with the incidents before restructuring to find a way forward in terms of making up with their fans.