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.