AmaZulu buys out club to get into top South African league

Would have stayed in second tier if not for purchase of Thanda, which just got promoted

AmaZulu has bought their way into the South African Premier Soccer League by essentially purchasing the promotion of Thanda Royal Zulu. Thanda won the National First Division title last season which earned them automatic promotion to the top South African league, while AmaZulu finished in fifth place, just outside of qualifying for the playoffs. However, now AmaZulu will participate in the Premier Soccer League, while Thanda stays in the second tier. This marks the end of a three year hiatus from the Premier Soccer League by AmaZulu. Thanda will change its name to Richards Bay Football Club as a byproduct of the sale.

There was initial concern that the deal would not go through, as AmaZulu was at first unwilling to take on Thanda players, which is usually a requirement to have a sale go through. Also, given that Thanda was expected to sell for the equivalent of 3.28 million euros, it was unclear if AmaZulu had the necessary funding to provide the proper value, as the Premier Soccer League requires that the sale price cannot be more than 50% of your entire treasury.

This is not uncommon in the South African leagues, as Mpumalanga Black Aces were purchased by what became Cape Town City in an effort to earn a spot in the top league. AmaZulu themselves attempted to purchase the Black Aces in 2015, although that sale was vetoed by the Premier Soccer League. Cape Town City went on to win the domestic league cup in their first season of existence. This case is also common in Mexico, as relegated clubs often resort to purchasing top tier clubs in order to stay in the top league. The case is so common there that it is reflected in the plot of the Netflix show Club de Cuervos, based on Mexican football.

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