Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter told SABC Sport that behind-the-scenes politics influenced his premature departure from Naturena.

Amakhosi and Bakst’s reunion ended well before his first three-season spell when the two sides severed ties in April – ten months into his two-year contract.

Executives did not elaborate on the reasons for the decision, but Baxter says certain “agendas” led to his departure.

“It really didn’t take me long to think, Mazola. I think I was pretty clear on what was going on. After I had Covid during the mid-season break, I knew even then that there was an agenda at the club,” said Baxter. SABC Sport.

“Those agendas had to be satisfied, whether I liked it or not, there were things going on in the background, maybe not what I thought was the right decision, but it was done.

“Now I immediately read in the newspapers that I was fired, but this is not the case. Did I think I should have given myself more time? I just realized that the agenda wasn’t out in the open, saying, ‘Listen coach…’ It was in the background the whole time.”

However, in a recent interview with the Sunday Times, the publication quoted the chairman of Kaiser Motaunga as saying that Baxter had to leave because of his reluctance to use young players and because his relationship with the fans was expected to deteriorate further.

Baxter denies this and also talks about his relationship with sporting director Kaiser Motown Jr., with whom he constantly argued about the direction the club was taking after their respective appointments.

“We talked about some of the players that will come, we talked about the young players. I read an article where the chairman said “Stewart didn’t play young players and it was in his contract”. It was certainly not in my contract,” he insisted.

“It was clear that Kaizer Chiefs did not want to be a team doing what they are doing now – buying six or seven players every year because that is the opposite of producing their own players.

“So we wanted to build our own players and then buy one or two special players with special requirements and skill sets that would brighten up the squad. Now I don’t think that was ever mentioned [to the public].

“I told everyone in the regular meetings why I was patient with some of the younger players, but partly because I thought the older players – Keegan Dolly and Khama Bilyat – were ahead of them in the first order, but we will work hard to to give [the youngsters] minutes and enter them for incremental replacement [the older players] in a couple of seasons.

“On the surface, everyone was fine with it. Obviously not now, because the chairman thinks it’s relevant to come out and accuse me of not wanting to play with children, which is not true.

“[With Kaizer Jnr] we clashed very early on and I think he realized that if I was around, all these things he wanted to do wouldn’t be smooth, I wouldn’t want to bring in a player I didn’t need.

“We discussed the way forward for the club, the new goals, who should stay and who should go, we didn’t agree on a lot of those things and I think without saying that, it just became a mission for him to try to bring the changes he needs to carry out his program.’

Zola Molefe

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