Take a pay cut and go!

Sun­downs have come out guns blaz­ing to say their dead­weight play­ers are just stick­ing around for salaries

CityPress - - Sport - TIM­O­THY MOLOBI tim­o­thy@city­press.co.za

South African foot­ball gi­ants Mamelodi Sun­downs have come out with guns blaz­ing to de­fend their sign-an­drelease pol­icy for play­ers.

Downs coach Pitso Mosi­mane came short of la­belling some play­ers cow­ards for re­fus­ing to leave for lesser salaries at other clubs.

He said the nine-time league cham­pi­ons were ready to off-load play­ers who had not been get­ting game time, but some clubs were re­luc­tant to meet the play­ers’ hefty salaries.

Mosi­mane said most of the play­ers did not want to lose their cur­rent pack­ages and, as a re­sult, pre­ferred to stick around rather than earn their salaries else­where.

“It’s not true that we don’t want to re­lease play­ers. The chal­lenge is money, as they are not will­ing to take pay cuts ... be­cause other clubs don’t pay as much as we do,” said the coach.

“They would rather stay here and earn their R20 in­stead of go­ing else­where for R10.”

Mosi­mane cited Spain and Chelsea player Cesc Fàbre­gas as one of the play­ers he re­spected in this re­gard.

“He was cap­tain at Arse­nal and played in all the games,” ex­plained Mosi­mane. “Barcelona didn’t have the pack­age he was on at Arse­nal, but he took a salary re­duc­tion [to change clubs], as he wanted to win the Cham­pi­ons League – and he went on to win it. He [also] won the World Cup with Spain. Does he re­gret it? Some­times it is up to you.”

Mosi­mane said the likes of Mario Booy­sen, Uzoenyi Ejike, Tiyani Mabunda, Lin­dokuhle Mbatha, Sibu­siso Ku­malo and Mukuka Mu­lenga were free to leave the club if they wanted to.

He said Le­bo­hang Mokoena had al­ready asked to be re­leased.

“We have to be fair to them as well. If you can’t make the team for six months, what chances are there that you are go­ing to make it in fu­ture?” asked Mosi­mane.

He said they wanted to send some of their young­sters on loan for guar­an­teed game time.

He re­ferred to fringe play­ers such as Percy Tau, Madisha Mot­jeka, Khayelihle Shozi and Sa­muel Julies, who all cam­paign in the Mul­tiChoice Diski Chal­lenge.

Sun­downs chief ex­ec­u­tive Sizwe Nz­i­mande told City Press that who­ever wanted their play­ers should be will­ing to pay their wages.

“Our pol­icy is clear: if you take our play­ers on loan, you must pay them their salaries,” said Nz­i­mande.

“Our sub­com­mit­tee came up with this de­ci­sion af­ter re­vers­ing the de­ci­sion to al­low our play­ers to play against us. It is as sim­ple as that. But some clubs find it dif­fi­cult to match the play­ers’ salaries and, as a re­sult, we are stuck with them.”

Be­fore over­turn­ing their de­ci­sion, Sun­downs had come in for fierce crit­i­cism for loan­ing out play­ers and then not al­low­ing them to play against them in of­fi­cial matches.

Nz­i­mande said it was not fair to ex­pect the club to con­tinue pay­ing the play­ers’ salaries when they were do­ing duty for some­one else.

“It is a pure busi­ness de­ci­sion, but play­ers and their man­agers don’t see it that way and think we are the stum­bling block.”

Plat­inum Stars’ gen­eral man­ager, Senzo Mazingisa, said they did not have a prob­lem with Sun­downs’ pol­icy.

Stars have Bongi Ntuli from Sun­downs on loan. Mazingisa said they had to give in to the Brazil­ians’ de­mands, as they wanted the striker.

“We looked at our bud­get ver­sus when we get a new striker. For us it made busi­ness sense to bring him on loan,” said Mazingisa.

“As our em­ployee, we have to pay his salary, and Sun­downs are well within their rights to ask clubs to carry over play­ers salaries.”

City Press has learnt that Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria wanted to take Mokoena and Tau on loan but were put off by the duo’s salary de­mands.

AmaTuks’ me­dia of­fi­cer, Pearl Mosoane, said they were look­ing to get a few play­ers on loan, but money would al­ways be the is­sue with their club.

She said they had made en­quiries, but noth­ing had come through as yet.

“It is a dif­fi­cult one, as other clubs also want play­ers from Sun­downs. We must know where they stand first and who is avail­able be­fore we can say we have reached a deal and, at the mo­ment, there is no solid agree­ment,” said Mosoane.

PHOTO: TREVOR KUNENE

OUT­SPO­KEN Pitso Mosi­mane says play­ers are free to go if they want to

PHOTO: STEVE HAAG / GALLO IM­AGES

MOVER Le­bo­hang Mokoena wants out of the club

JOINT VEN­TURE CAF pres­i­dent Issa Hay­a­tou and Sheik Sal­man Bin Ibrahim al-Khal­ifa have signed a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment

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