The sale of Maccabi FC’s NFD status to Moroka Swallows has left one club owner seething with anger. Thobejane Leruma thought he had sealed the deal to buy the club, but was left with only feathers after it fell through.
Leruma, who owns the ABC Motsepe club Leruma FC, told City Press that he would approach the court as a matter of principle to get legal recourse as he felt hard done by. He accused former Maccabi chairperson Allan Norman of playing him.
“As a matter of fact, I want the matter to sit [in court] so that we can get to the bottom of it and expose one another. He made me look like a fool all along,” Leruma said.
He said Norman approached him and offered to sell him a 40% stake in the team.
“I’m now sitting with the money to buy a club I can’t buy,” said Leruma. “I’m not bitter that someone else bought the club, but [I’m angry] about the manner in which I was played and made to believe I would get it.
“I was not even interested in buying the club when he approached me initially.
“I told him bluntly that I had no interest in buying it, but he kept persuading me until I relented and said I would give them about R3 million so they could run in the new season with the view of giving him the balance next season if they did not get promotion to the PSL,” Leruma said.
He said Norman approached him, saying he had spent a lot of money last season and didn’t want to continue with the team this season.
“He said it costs about R300 000 to run the team every month and asked if I wanted a 40% stake for about R3.5 million, but I made it clear that I was not interested.
“I told him I didn’t have that kind of money and he told me to go home and think about it. I told him I had my own team and wanted to give it another shot in the ABC Motsepe League in the new season, but he kept on saying that, if there was anybody he could sell to, it would be me because he trusted me and I have been honest with him.”
Leruma said what really irked him was the fact that he borrowed the money from the bank.
“I even asked him if he was talking to anyone else, and he assured me that I was the only one.
“My application was approved on July 18 and I told him this. But then he started saying let’s talk. That’s when I knew there was something amiss,” Leruma said.
When approached for comment, Norman said: “I have absolutely no comment on any of his issues. The only story is about the rebirth Swallows.” – Timothy Molobi