Chippa expected to fire coach Dan Malesela – again

Dan “Dance” Malesela
Dan “Dance” Malesela

Coach Dan Malesela is expected to be fired by Chippa United on Wednesday, only three matches into the start of the new soccer season‚ a source at the Absa Premiership club confirmed on Tuesday evening.

Former Orlando Pirates‚ Cape Town City and SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler is expected to be named as his replacement.

The source‚ who did not want to be named‚ told TimesLIVE that a meeting had been convened to discuss the firing of Malesela following a poor start to the 2018/2019 season for Chippa.

Malesela said in an interview on Metro FM on Tuesday night that he had not been informed of any decision to fire him.

“I have been through this kind of process at Chippa before‚ and I would not be surprised if it was true‚” Malesela said frankly.

He told The Herald later on Tuesday: “I don’t know if I have been fired or not.

“I am awaiting official word from the club to tell me what is happening because I have been getting these calls [tonight].

“Nothing has been said to me by the club. I have not spoken to the chairman [Siviwe Mpengesi] yet.

“But if there is news about me, then there must be something going on.

“There is no smoke without fire,” the coach said.

“I am still in Port Elizabeth. Today I had a training session with the players as normal and nothing was said to me by the management.”

Asked what may have triggered a decision to fire him, Malesela said: “I had not won in three games last season and I was fired, and I haven’t won in three games this season as well.

“In my contract there is no statement that says if I lose three matches I will be fired.

“You cannot weigh me on three matches.

“Who is weighed on three matches?”

Attempts to reach club chair Mpengesi and chief operating officer Lukhanyo Mzinzi for comment proved unsuccessful on Tuesday night.

Malesela, a 1980s Orlando Pirates captain, was in his second stint as coach.

After he was fired by Chippa in September 2017, Malesela vowed never to return to the club.

Eight months later, he made a surprise return to the team in May, replacing Serbian coach Vladislav Heric.

Chippa have lost their first two games (2-0 away against Bloemfontein Celtic and 1-0 at home against 10-man Orlando Pirates) of the Absa Premiership season.

They drew their third 2-2 against promoted Black Leopards on Saturday.

At a media conference in Port Elizabeth less than three weeks ago, Mpengesi said the club’s management had decided “to try and not interfere with duties of the technical team”.

“Both us as club management and the coach are hoping those things will not happen again, because it did not bear good fruits,” he said at the time.

“We have tried to rectify things that were causing those misunderstandings, hence we are going to give him space.”

But Mpengesi may have once again grown impatient with the team’s failure to grab an early season victory.

Tinkler could not be reached for comment.