First legs of the MTN8 semi-finals take place this weekend, with all teams out to stamp their authority on opponents before the return fixtures a week later.
Defying the odds
In spite of well-documented off-field issues relating to finances, Bloemfontein Celtic have weathered the storm. On the field, they have shown great resilience and navigated like a ship sailing on calm seas.
Owner Max Tshabalala has been trying to steady things since 2018, when the money troubles first hit. In previous seasons, a chronic lack of cash saw players go on strike and refuse to attend training.
The club has almost been sold a few times, with the latest bid reportedly coming from TS Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi in early 2020. However, Sukazi was keen to move the club to Mpumalanga upon purchase -- as he subsequently did when he bought Highlands Park.
But moving did not sit well with the supporters of Celtic, who are some of the most passionate on the continent. Fortunately for the Siwelele faithful, the deal did not go through and the club remains in Bloemfontein.
With all this going on in the background, the club reached the final of the Nedbank Cup last season...