I first discovered what I wanted to do for a living when I was in standard 8 (yes, standard! I am that old). Big deal every doctor, nurse, teacher and football player could say the same thing too. But knowing how many people out there despise their jobs, I consider myself lucky. I consider myself to be among a privileged group of people who go to work and love it.
Alex Ferguson is one such person. Every time he talks about Ryan Giggs’ goal against Arsenal in the 1999 FA cup Semi Final, which saw Manchester United to the finals after Denis Berkamp missed a penalty; he still gets excited with a sparkle in his eye. Almost wants to jump out of his chair. Years after the fact, the man behaves as if the goal happened last week. If you have ever seen him, you have to accept that the man must have struggled to retire. HE LOVES THE GAME TOO MUCH.
If you can cast your mind forward to the day the Cebo Manyapelo has to retire, you can almost imagine that unless someone throws a big retirement party and confiscates his access card. The management at SABC will get a phone call the Monday thereafter from CC, wanting to know why his name does not appear on the roster. The man will struggle to retire, HE LOVES THE GAME TOO MUCH.
And so if you take the time to walk in these men’s shoes, you can almost understand Jomo Sono’s predicament. It does not matter how loud the call for him to give up the reigns, the gut wrenching thought that he might have to spend a full seven days without stepping on a football pitch is just too much for him to live with. The man is struggling to retire, HE LOVES THE GAME TOO MUCH. And while the team goes up and down and critics have plenty to say about Bra J, the Black Prince continues to live his dream.
But on my way home from the game between AmaTuks and Golden Arrows wherein news of Jomo Cosmos’ 1-3 loss to Maritzburg United spelling Ezenkosi’s automatic relegation from the PSL produced jubilant celebrations. A random thought struck me, like a bolt of lightning on John Travolta in “Phenomenon.”
What if this is his business model?
Think about it. I read somewhere, that the average life of a Silicon Valley company is 12 years. The average life of a Fortune 500 company is 42 years. Jomo Cosmos has been around for 33 years, paid salaries, met all obligations. If that business was geared for something different the current “NFD-PSL yo-yo experience”, their Balance Sheet would have never survived this long. The revenue stream constrictions of the National First Division would have taken a tall on their liquidity and sunk them into insolvency. But instead Jomo Cosmos FC is fine, they remain profitable and viable.
All that Jomo Cosmos FC has been doing is to find players who are “rough around the edges”, put them through an “NFD development sausage factory”, make promotion to the PSL, advertise the players for a season, sell the lot and start again. Let’s face it, he is running the same model as Ajax Cape Town, Bidvest Wits, Free State Stars and Golden Arrows. Only he is doing it at a fraction of the cost, and dare I say – more efficiently.
Right or wrong – I am not one to judge. Lord knows that half the people who believe Jomo Sono is wasting his time are the same people who avoid phone calls from a “Private Number” because they are 5-to black-listing. While the other half have been trying to settle their credit card debt for the last two years, and it is just not going away, but still they criticize.
In the meantime Jomo Cosmos FC stays profitable, viable and lives to see another year.
So long Ezenkosi, see you in 2017.
The tempest prognosticator
Themba A Dikgale.