No bang for Brazilians’ bucks

2012-01-07 19:46

Despite having spent more than R20 million in the player transfer market over the past five seasons, Mamelodi Sundowns have lost out, not only in terms of silverware, but financially as well.

Sundowns’ president Patrice Motsepe has not been shy to spend on players, but he has yet to reap the rewards.

The Brazilians continue losing the same players they signed for millions without getting a return on their investment.

The likes of Mabhuti Khenyeza, Franklin Cale, Eduardo Ferreira, Matthew Pattison, Tshepo Ramokala and Koketso Mmotong are the latest expected out of Chloorkop in the current transfer window period or at the end of the season.

These are just among the signings made by Sundowns since they last won the league title in the 2006/o7 season.

Two seasons ago, Cale arrived from Ajax Cape Town for an amount in the region of R5.5 million.

Hefty transfer fees were also forked out to lure Khenyeza (R3.5m), Papi Zothwane (R4m) and Innocent Mdledle (R3m).

Some of these players left Sundowns for free – either with their contacts expiring, or after a mutual termination or as a result of being put on transfer.

One classic example of a poor piece of business by the Brazilians was that of Nigerian striker Gbolahan Salami, who was released shortly after signing for R2.5 million in the off-season of the current campaign.

An almost similar situation played itself out at Chloorkop two seasons ago, when Lerato Chabangu joined SuperSport on a free transfer from Sundowns, only for the Brazilians to part with R2.5 million a few months later to re-sign the striker.

The trend of financial loss continues, with Sundowns having already lost Khenyeza to SuperSport – who will not fork out a cent because the player’s contract is expiring – at the end of the season.

But Trott Moloto, Sundowns’ technical adviser, said the club was doing everything above board.

Moloto claims that Sundowns and Khenyeza had entered into negotiations four months ago but the player used delaying tactics.

“Players are adults and they know what they want. It did not come as a surprise that Mabhuti (Khenyeza) has signed for SuperSport,” said Moloto.

“Sundowns will never stand in any player’s way if he wants to leave the club.

“We do everything above board and we know when the players’ contract expires and enter into negotiations, but if they want out there is nothing we can do.”

As for other unsettled players, Moloto said Ferreira was available to anyone who needed him, while they have let Zothwane join a club
of his choice, after he made it clear he no longer wanted to play for the club.

Moloto said the club was going to review Mdledle’s situation after the left-back was dropped from the senior team due to ill-discipline.

Downs are also likely to lose midfielders Cale and Elias Pelembe.

Moloto said they were still in negotiations with Pelembe, and that Cale was still their player and was staying with Sundowns.

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