SuperSport United has confirmed the parting of ways with head coach Gordon Igesund with immediate effect. The parties agreed to an early termination following Matsatsantsa advising Igesund that his contract, which expires at the end of the season, would not be renewed. Matsatsantsa also confirmed that former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter would be brought in to replace Igesund. Baxter will be taking up his coaching duties pending the finalisation of his work permit and current assistant coach Kaitano Tembo and Academy Technical Director Kwanele Kopo will take interim charge of the team until Baxter is cleared for duty.
Both Tembo and Kopo will remain as assistant coaches until the end of the season. Igesund joined SuperSport United in September 2014 and soon went on to win the Telkom Cup and secure a top six finish for the club. However the team’s results this season have been below expectations with the team languishing in the bottom half of the table at the half way mark, prompting the parties to go their separate ways.
Igesund says: ‘It is a sad day for me as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at SuperSport United, working with an incredibly professional club and group of people, but I honestly felt that it was in the best interests of the football club that I move on prior to the end of my contract to afford a new coach the opportunity to work with this group of players as soon as possible. I am not content, as I would have liked to achieve more but I am pleased to have been able to win a trophy for the club in my relatively short time in charge. This is the reality of football worldwide and I wish SuperSport and the players all the best in their future endeavours.’ Club CEO Stan Matthews expressed his appreciation for Igesund’s contribution to the club saying: ‘Gordon turned our fortunes around last season and ensured his legacy at the club because by winning the Telkom Cup we became one of the few clubs in history to win a clean sweep of domestic trophies. We will remain appreciative of that as well as for the way he has been as a coach and an ambassador with our stakeholders and sponsors. He is a thorough professional. Unfortunately the results and player performances have not matched our expectations and we felt it fair to tell Gordon early that we are looking to the future for next season and beyond.’
Baxter guided Kaizer Chiefs to two league titles in three seasons and also added the Nedbank Cup and MTN 8 to the Amakhosi trophy cabinet.