Let’s hope Mot­sepe’s demo­cratic pos­tur­ing pays off for play­ers

CityPress - - Sport - S’Bu­siso Mse­leku

The of­fi­cial web­site of Mamelodi Sun­downs lists Peter Manda, Steve Masha­lane, Dr Re­joice Sime­lane, Ad­vo­cate An­drew Matube, Dan Sime­lane, An­dre Wilkens and Sandile Langa as the club’s di­rec­tors. Ac­cord­ing to Sun­downs pres­i­dent Pa­trice Mot­sepe, th­ese are the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for the club’s atro­cious pol­icy on loan­ing out play­ers, a pol­icy that has come un­der se­vere crit­i­cism re­cently.

Part of the pol­icy is that play­ers loaned out to other clubs are not al­lowed to play against the Brazil­ians. Many have said this is un­fair com­pe­ti­tion as it weak­ens the other clubs in their quest to fight for the same hon­ours the de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons are af­ter.

Some crit­ics have even gone fur­ther to say the pol­icy flies in the face of fair labour prac­tice. But in a mov­ing ad­dress be­fore dish­ing out more than R1.6 mil­lion in prize money to the play­ers at their awards even­ing for last sea­son, Mot­sepe put the blame squarely at the club’s board.

As re­ported by my col­league Mathews Mpete, the sports ed­i­tor at Daily Sun and Sun­day Sun, Mot­sepe said: “This is a key is­sue. I per­son­ally would like to see all our play­ers play against us. But the Sun­downs board be­lieves we can’t have play­ers on our pay­roll play­ing against us.”

This to me raised a ques­tion I hope some clubs and agents will an­swer: Do Sun­downs con­tinue pay­ing th­ese play­ers while they are on loan, or do the clubs they are loaned to foot their salary bill?

Nev­er­the­less, Mot­sepe went on to say: “In my per­sonal opin­ion, and this will hap­pen but only if the board can be per­suaded, all the play­ers we put on loan should be al­lowed to play against us.”

He promised to talk to the board and see if they can change their tough stance. He then added: “But then again, I can’t have peo­ple on the board and dis­re­gard their ad­vice.”

What a demo­crat. It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see an owner who splashes his mil­lions in fund­ing a club, but is such a lib­eral he al­lows the ma­jor­ity to make de­ci­sions.

Club bosses by na­ture are known to be what Zulu peo­ple call “ondlovu kayiphen­dulwa” – dic­ta­tors.

What a breath of fresh air this min­ing mag­nate Mot­sepe is.

He said he was aware that some play­ers would like to prove them­selves and show his club it was a mis­take to loan them out.

Ac­cord­ing to him, such per­for­mances would be good for lo­cal soc­cer. “Th­ese are play­ers of the future. If a player is a Sun­downs player and not part of the coach’s plans, we should al­low him to play else­where, even when that team plays against Mamelodi Sun­downs.”

This state­ment cre­ated a fur­ther flurry of ac­tiv­ity on me­dia plat­forms, in­clud­ing the let­ter from a reader on this very page.

So, we wait with bated breath to see if Mot­sepe will be able to per­suade the club’s board to change their pol­icy and how long it takes him to do so.

We all know Mot­sepe is quite a busy man, but one feels this is a press­ing is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed, like yes­ter­day.

It has in­deed be­come con­tentious and has caused some con­ster­na­tion in foot­ball cir­cles.

Re­cently, Mar­itzburg United coach Steve Kom­phela com­plained bit­terly that he was not able to use the three play­ers – Kwanda Mn­gonyama, Abel Mabaso or Sibu­siso Khu­malo – in their open­ing league match against Sun­downs.

Kom­phela had a se­ri­ous prob­lem with in­juries and some of the new for­eign play­ers not be­ing able to play due to the new strin­gent home af­fairs em­ploy­ment reg­u­la­tions.

As if the soc­cer gods were out to prove a point, the Team of Choice held Bafana Ba Style to a 1-1 draw – at home, no­gal.

Given what Downs coach Pitso Mosi­mane said when he waded into this de­bate, it should not be a prob­lem for the club to let th­ese play­ers play against Sun­downs.

“The only on-loan player who will come back is some­one who is re­ally bet­ter than what we have,” Mosi­mane told Kick­Off mag­a­zine.

So if th­ese play­ers are not bet­ter than what Sun­downs have in their camp, they should pose no prob­lem when play­ing against them.

In re­sponse to ac­cu­sa­tions that the club was de­stroy­ing, or has de­stroyed, sev­eral play­ers’ ca­reers, Mosi­mane said: “We don’t want to kill play­ers’ ca­reers be­cause some of the boys de­serve to play. If you have done well and you are bet­ter than what we have, we will bring you back.”

Did I hear some­one say ac­tions speak louder than words? On an­other note, con­grat­u­la­tions are in or­der for Sun­downs cap­tain Alje Schut, who walked away with R250 000 for be­ing the club’s player of the sea­son and R176 000 for be­ing voted by his team-mates as play­ers’ player of the year.

If a player is a Sun­downs player and not part of the coach’s plans, we should al­low him to play else­where, even when that team plays against Mamelodi Sun­downs


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