JOHANNESBURG – British-born coach Stuart Baxter is set to be unveiled as the new Kaizer Chiefs coach this week after agreeing to re-join the club for a second stint on a three-year deal from next season, according to reports from the South African media on Monday night.
“It is a done deal. He (Baxter) has signed a three-year deal with Chiefs. His unveiling is imminent. He will be announced before the end of the week,” a source confirmed the news according to website The South African, on Monday night.
Baxter left Chiefs in 2015 after delivering two league titles and two domestic trophies, the Nedbank Cup and MTN8, in just three seasons. However, since his departure, the team has failed to bring any silverware to the club’s decorated trophy cabinet.
As a result, their recent investment on highly-decorated South African mentor Gavin Hunt failed to bear any fruits as the 56-year-old had a turbulent domestic campaign, despite guiding the team to the semifinal of the Champions League this month.
Hunt was fired by Chiefs with two matches to spare in the league. They’ve since appointed his former assistants Arthur Zwane and Dillion Sheppard as interim coaches. The duo inspired Chiefs to a top-eight finish after back-to-back wins over Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy.
Chiefs will face Wydad Casablanca in the two-legged semifinal of the Pan-African competition. Baxter who’s earmarked to revive the club’s glory days could be on the bench for those matches if he’s indeed unveiled by the club later this week.
Baxter’s imminent return to the country has also ruffled feathers especially after his “rape” comments while still working for Odisha FC in India. In his post-match reaction, the former SuperSport United coach said: “You need decisions to go your way, and they didn’t.”
He went on, before he was subsequently fired by the club for his remarks, and added: “I don’t know when we are going to get our penalty. One of my players will have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty…”
Nonetheless, the South African Football Association said they won’t stand in the way of Baxter if he’s hired in the country. At Chiefs, Baxter is expected to reunite with his former Bafana assistant Molefi Ntseki, who’s the club’s Head of Technical and Youth development academy.
Ntseki was fired by Safa in March after failing to guide Bafana to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next year after taking over the reins from Baxter in 2019. The duo guided the national team to the quarterfinal of the continental showpiece in Egypt in 2019.