Ace Ncobo’s new PSL era to be dominated by innovations

Ace Ncobo’s new PSL era to be dominated by innovations

After an absence of close to 15 years from the Premier Soccer League, newly appointed General Manager Andile “Ace” Ncobo looks forward to a new era driven by innovations.

Speaking during a sit-down interview with SABC Sport in his new office in Parktown earlier this week, Ncobo recalled how the PSL used to be a leader in this space, with leagues like the Bundesliga tapping into their insight for innovations.

The former FIFA and SAFA referee shares more on his plans going forward.

"I'm big on systems architecture, I'm big on automation. We have embarked on an assessment of where we stand currently as the PSL in terms of our systems and we'll be consolidating what works best and is still relevant going forward," Ncobo said.

Working under former PSL CEO Kjetil Siem at the time, Ncobo served in the same position between 2007 and 2009 before he abruptly vacated the post.

There’s a strong feeling that the League has stagnated from the innovative league it used to be just over a decade ago, but Ncobo says it is never too late to pick up again.

"We are going to look at what tools of innovation are at our disposal because, if you look at the media itself, how it has drastically transformed from the traditional platforms – your print and ordinary television platform," he added.

"There's now a proliferation of online platforms, how do we reposition ourselves so that we harness the power of the fourth industrial revolution, the massive access to the internet that our primary clients – the football fans – have, which they didn't have previously.

"I mean, if you look back in the era when I was here, 15-16 years ago, and check the number of people that owned smartphones and had access to the internet and compare that number to how many have that today – it's chalk and cheese, it's massive.

"So, our thinking also must be geared towards harnessing the value that access to the internet gives us."

Expanding on his ‘Vision 2040’ for the league, Ncobo says their new innovations will be informed by the business of football and will see them implementing some changes immediately.

"We need to look at what kind of league we want to have in 2040. Then we start implementing that today. We are not going to look and say in 2040, this is how football will be managed and then wait for 2040 before we start doing those things. We are going to look at the future of the business of football," he concluded.