Take a pay cut and go!
Sundowns have come out guns blazing to say their deadweight players are just sticking around for salaries
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.
OUTSPOKEN Pitso Mosimane says players are free to go if they want to
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