New Platinum Stars coach Peter Butler arrives in the country with a fiery reputation and having once called Kaizer Chiefs “average” and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) “overrated”.
Englishman Butler had spent the last three years as coach of the Botswana national team‚ but after yet another run-in with his association bosses‚ left by mutual consent this week.
Stars confirmed he would be their new coach on Thursday‚ replacing Cavin Johnson‚ whose contract was not renewed.
But Butler is going to have to tone down his rhetoric if he is to stay clear of the PSL’s legal team.
He is known for his fiery outbursts and criticism of administrators and match officials.
After Botswana were beaten by South Africa in the final of the 2016 Cosafa Castle Cup in Namibia‚ Butler fumed: “The referee and his assistants were despicable and shameful. They should be banned from refereeing. Today football was a loser. Games should be won on the pitch not decided on the (boardroom) table.”
The referee in question was Zambian Janny Sikazwe‚ who went on to officiate the Fifa Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers in December. He is also likely to be at the World Cup finals in Russia next year.
Butler had already been sent to the stands by the same referee earlier in the tournament and later suspended for two matches by Cosafa.
Butler has also turned his ire to the PSL. When Township Rollers met Kaizer Chiefs in the African Champions League in 2015‚ he did not hold back.
“I personally don’t think Rollers will get smashed tonight. The PSL is not as good as the hype they give it. Chiefs are like a Div 2 (fourth-tier) team in UK. Chiefs – Div 2 team at best‚ maybe Conference (fifth-tier)‚” he tweeted.
“If the PSL is that good‚ why are they hardly any PSL players playing in the EPL at this present moment? Lower Leagues?”
He then finished off with the following after Chiefs won 2-1 at home.
“Good result tonight for Rollers‚ just goes to show PSL is over-rated‚ all the hype and media‚ I’m from the real world‚ very average were Chiefs.”
The touchline and post-match interviews are set to get a whole lot more interesting in the coming campaign …