The PSL has a new sheriff in town
Jacques Grobbelaar has been appointed as the general manager for risk and safety, and as chief of security at the league, taking over from Philip Masimong, who quit last season.
Grobbelaar’s appointment was disclosed to City Press last week by the league’s chairperson, Irvin Khoza, ahead of the PSL executive meeting on Thursday.
Though Khoza did not elaborate, he believed Grobbelaar was the best man for the job. Grobbelaar brings with him extensive knowledge of security and risk management, having worked as the chief executive officer of Stadium Management SA (SMSA).
His role at SMSA was the management, commercialisation and promotion of the FNB, Rand, Dobsonville and Orlando stadiums.
The league has been without a security chief since Masimong left.
Grobbelaar will oversee all aspects of the security arrangements at all PSL-sanctioned matches.
He will work closely with the league’s security committee to ensure matches run smoothly and are free of security incidents.
He will have to hit the ground running this week as his first assignment will be the MTN8 final at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
The league is responsible for security arrangements during all cup matches.
Recently, the league’s biggest focus has been on crowd management, public safety and security at all domestic matches.
The league has come under fire following incidents of hooliganism at certain category A matches – games involving big clubs – including those featuring Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
Grobbelaar’s other big assignment will come later in the month, when Mamelodi Sundowns host Kaizer Chiefs in a usually sold-out fixture at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Recently, Khoza said it was important for clubs to hire a risk manager with proper qualifications and someone who knows about risk, safety and security – and Grobbelaar fits the bill.
According to the information on his personal website, Grobbelaar’s career in the event management industry began more than 22 years ago. He headed event master planning for clients hosting major events at large stadiums and facilities such as Ellis Park, the Johannesburg Stadium, the old Soccer City and Kings Park.
He was heavily involved in the delivery of more than 380 major events, including the Rolling Stones concert in 1992, the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996.
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He then joined the SMSA, where he delivered another 500 large events attended by 1 million spectators.
According to the website, during the period leading up to the 2010 World Cup, he consulted as a subject specialist as part of the Arup Major Projects consultancy team on the global soccer showpiece’s master plan for the Polokwane Local Municipality and the Peter Mokaba Stadium.