WITH four fixtures remaining before the curtain comes down on the National First Division (NFD), former Absa Premiership champions Santos seem to be a safe bet for relegation to the ABC Motsepe League.
The 2001-02 PSL champs are on the verge of following in the footsteps of Moroka Swallows, who were relegated from the NFD last season.
Santos were axed from the PSL in 2012 and the strugglers have not been able to return since.
They are at the bottom of the table with only 18 points from 26 matches, seven points behind 15th placed Magesi FC.
Santos and Magesi look to be certain relegation candidates, but judging by their performance this season it is not presumptuous to state that Santos will be out.
The People’s Team have only registered three victories, defeating Mbombela United 2-1, Milano United 1-0 and Magesi 1-0 this season.
However, they are not the only ones in danger of going down as three other teams – Cape Town All Stars, FC Cape Town and Milano United – are treading on thin ice.
All Stars, Cape Town and Milano currently occupy 12th, 13th and 14th place respectively and are separated by only a point or two.
Santos host Jomo Cosmos in a six-pointer at Athlone Stadium today (3pm).
The People’s Team coach Tony De Nobrega, who took over in January, admits that if they fail to collect six points in their next two games, it’s all over.
He said: “The club has been playing in the NFD for a couple of years now and is declining each season. Everyone shares responsibility. It’s rough. Mathematically we still have a chance but we need to be realistic now.”
Magesi coach Shepherd Murape said: “We are in our own league, four games are a lot. There’s still a long way to go.”