Cape Town Spurs CEO Ari Efstathiou insists the club had been willing to continue their working relationship with coach Ernst Middendorp but was compelled to end his contract due to the “restricted financial environment in the NFD.”

The Urban Warriors were relegated back to the NFD after a poor 2023/24 campaign, which saw them collect 23 points in 30 matches.

Middendorp (65), who took over in November, helped the club fight until the latter stages of the season. They collected 19 points under Middendorp’s tenure, beating giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the process.

In a statement released on Monday, the club announced that the financial implications of campaigning in the second tier led to Mazinyo’s untimely departure.

“On behalf of the board and the club, we would like to convey our sincere gratitude to Ernst for his commitment and dedication over the recent months.

“The spirited fight that he was able to master in the second phase with our team was nothing short of amazing.

“Unfortunately, due to the restrictive financial environment of the NFD, the club was unable to extend the relationship.

“There is nothing sinister in the decision as the coach clearly indicated that he was willing to stay on and assist the team in getting promoted back to the PSL,” Efstathiou stated.