Back in April, it was dramatically confirmed that Stuart Baxter, who was on his second stint at Kaizer Chiefs, had been officially shown the door by Amakhosi.
Kaizer Chiefs were embarrassingly relegated from the Nedbank Cup last, while they failed to perform in the DStv Premier League and found themselves in fifth position when Baxter was let go.
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In an exclusive interview with SABC SportBaxter suggested that behind-the-scenes politics ultimately led to the severance of his relationship with the club, and also revealed his strained relationship with athletic director Kaiser Motown Jr.
“I think it was quite clear to me what was happening. 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.”
Baxter also suggested there was a discrepancy with the club’s approach to recruiting and planning young players.
“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 then all these things he wanted to do wouldn’t be smooth sailing, I wouldn’t want to bring in a player I didn’t need.”
READ | BAXTER: COMING BACK TO THE CHIEFS WASN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
Baxter previously revealed that he felt things were close to clicking for the Chiefs
The veteran coach had earlier stated that he truly felt the team could have bounced back and finished second in the Premier League, which would have secured Amakhosi a place in the CAF Champions League.
“If you can’t finish it, you’re certainly not happy. Of course I would like to continue and see what we can do. But I have to say that the conditions have become unfavorable for me and Chiefs,” said Baxter, who left the club despite having a year left on his contract.
“So we sat down and agreed to part ways. And it’s sad for me because of what I just said. So, I would like to continue because I think we could have taken the first two places and I don’t know where the table will end up now, but I just think it’s sad for me that we couldn’t do it. It wasn’t like I thought it would be when I actually got back. Everything unfolded in a completely different way than I thought.”
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