Caught off-sides

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - NJAB­ULO NGIDI

MAMELODI SUN­DOWNS’ pres­i­dent Pa­trice Mot­sepe spent close to two hours in Sand­ton yes­ter­day with the in­ten­tion of speak­ing about the club’s plans for the next 10 years. But in those hours, he briefly spoke about that fu­ture (which in­cludes am­bi­tions of play­ing in the fi­nal of the Fifa Club World Cup). In­stead, he ad­dressed press­ing is­sues that touched on the club’s past suc­cess and ad­min­is­tra­tive blun­ders.

The most re­cent of those blun­ders is putting the wrong buy-out clause in Kea­gan Dolly’s con­tract. The Brazil­ians mis­tak­enly put close to R12.5-mil­lion (which they eval­u­ated him at when he was still at Ajax Cape Town) in­stead of the re­vised R28-mil­lion they put on him when they brought him back from the Mother City. Sun­downs re­alised that they had made a mis­take only when Greek side Olympia­cos came af­ter the ser­vices of Dolly, match­ing the wrong buy­out clause. The Brazil­ians turned down that of­fer, caus­ing strain be­tween the player and the club. Dolly took Downs to the Premier Soc­cer League’s dis­pute res­o­lu­tion cham­ber and the club won. It was a rare win for a side that has ex­pe­ri­enced ad­min­is­tra­tive blun­ders that have tar­nished their im­age.

Sun­downs ac­cepted for­mer cap­tain Alje Schut’s reg­is­tra­tion card with the wrong year in the 2014/15 sea­son. That came six years af­ter Sun­downs were found to have forged Jose Tor­re­alba’s con­tract for an ex­ten­sion.

“The start­ing point is that who is the most se­nior per­son at Sun­downs? Pa­trice Mot­sepe. The blame and the re­spon­si­bil­ity, whether I know or don’t KEA­GAN DOLLY know, (must fall on me be­cause) it hap­pened un­der my watch. That’s why I have to come out here, to ex­plain and ac­count. The first thing that arose on the Dolly mat­ter is that some of the board mem­bers were say­ing that, the peo­ple who changed it, were given money be­cause why would you have a buy-out clause that’s there and signed and then have a smaller amount put in the clause,” Mot­sepe said.

“I per­son­ally didn’t think it was the case. I think it was a gen­uine mis­take. I have also made many mis­takes in the past and I will still make more in the fu­ture. You have to gen­uinely apol­o­gise and hope­fully not make the same mis­take again. I didn’t even know how the Alje thing arose. We are con­tin­u­ously look­ing at th­ese things. Now, we will never have a sit­u­a­tion where only one per­son looks, changes and con­cludes a con­tract. There will be three peo­ple.”

Those changes could be in ef­fect when Dolly fi­nalises a con­tract with his new club. Mot­sepe promised that Sun­downs will not stand in his way of go­ing abroad, their cur­rent stance is a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple that an in­ter­ested party should meet the clause and pay what Sun­downs deem ap­pro­pri­ate in full. Mot­sepe re­vealed that some of the clubs af­ter Dolly have ap­proached them with the in­ten­tion of pay­ing the fee in in­stal­ments rather than out­right, some­thing he de­scribed as pros­per­ous. Nonethe­less, Mot­sepe has re­signed him­self to the fact that Sun­downs will lose Dolly (pos­si­bly to a top English club), Khama Bil­liat, Leonardo Cas­tro and pos­si­bly even An­thony Laf­for, who is linked with Kaizer Chiefs.

Mot­sepe is even pre­pared to lose coach Pitso Mosi­mane to Bafana Bafana. But the pres­i­dent ad­mit­ted that the South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) haven’t ap­proached him for Mosi­mane’s ser­vices while the coach said that he doesn’t want the Bafana job­but wants to build on his suc­cess with the Brazil­ians hav­ing guided the club to CAF Cham­pi­ons League glory last year.

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