Chippa United will continue to take their home fixtures to Buffalo City, having survived another season in the Premier Soccer League.
The Port Elizabeth side’s goalless draw against Free State Stars in their final league game was a good enough result to keep Chippa in the top flight.
It was a better goal difference that kept the Chilli Boys afloat.
Chippa took six of their home league fixtures, plus a Nedbank Cup semifinal, to Mdantsane’s Sisa Dukashe Stadium during the past season.
The Chilli Boys not only managed to draw big crowds in East London, but they also only lost one game – and that was to SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup semis.
“We had a meeting with the [Bay] mayor, Athol Trollip, and he is not opposed to East London,” Chippa chief operating officer Lukhanyo Mzinzi said.
“He is actually very positive about East London. So, going forward, we will play matches in both metros.
“East London is part of our plans for the next 10 years. The mayor of BCM is very committed to us taking some of our home fixtures there.
“We have seen ourselves as the team of the province and not a team of only PE.
“Our base and our home is in PE, but we are a team that rep-funding resents everyone in the Eastern Cape.”
After a series of poor results, the Chilli Boys found themselves in a relegation battle.
They finished 13th on the log this season, a far cry from their sixth-place finish last season.
Mzinzi said the decreased from the municipality could have contributed to their bad run in the league this season.
“There were many factors that might have affected us not to do well,” he said.
“The funding this year was almost half compared to the year before when we had the top-eight finish.
“We were about R12-million short of last season.
“These are things that we kept to ourselves.
“We strive to always keep the people of the Eastern Cape happy. We are grateful that we managed to salvage the club.
“We think that next season through talks with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the new mayor and the Buffalo City Municipality, we will be able to change a number of things.”
Mzinzi said the team were looking forward to next season and talks between the coach and management on improving the team and fixing what needed to be fixed were under way.
“We have identified a number of reasons why we found ourselves where we were before the Free State Stars match,” he said.
“We will be coming with solutions.
“In the PSL the financial consideration is a very critical factor. The fact that we got almost 40% of the funding we had the year before affected us.
“We are grateful to the chairman and his family, who always come through to save the club.
“We are also grateful to the people of the Eastern Cape. Throughout the problems that we have had, they have always been behind us.”