Shot in arm for battling Chilli Boys

A day after the news of a R39-million upgrade of the St George’s Park stadium, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will also bankroll the Chippa United Football Club to the tune of almost R15-million a year for the next three years.

Two months ago, the council also agreed to a R15-million bailout over three years for the Eastern Province Rugby Union for its liquidation debt.

The money for the struggling Chippa club will be in exchange for 10 league matches and for all cup games to be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The metro will also hold talks with Chippa around the status and future of its existing 18-year relocation agreement.

At a full council meeting yesterday, the councillors all agreed to support the Chilli Boys.

They also approved the R39-million funding to upgrade the lights and infrastructure at the St George’s Park stadium.

The St George’s costs will be advanced by Cricket SA to implement immediate upgrades for international games and the city will repay the money over four financial years. The money for Chippa will be split into: ý R7-million a year for relocation costs;

  • R500 000 a year for marketing; ý R6-million a year as a sponsorship in exchange for a front-of-jersey logo; and
  • R1.2-million a year for match-day costs. The council also agreed that of the 16 PSL games, 10 would be played in the Bay and six in Buffalo City to share the financial burden.

In his report to the council, city manager Johann Mettler said Chippa was not able to meet its financial obligations unless there was continued financial support.

An economic assessment predicts that Chippa’s matches at the stadium would rake in about R208-million in direct and indirect spend during the 2018-19 season.

Club owner Chippa Mpengesi said he would comment once he was officially notified of the council decision. – Additional reporting by Tremaine van Aardt

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