Pressing Issues: Mashaba money spin a deflection

2014-08-05 10:00

The ink had hardly dried on last week’s column – in which we urged the SA Football Association (Safa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to deal with the secrecy cloaking financial deals in football – when, lo and behold, Safa president Danny Jordaan found himself having to defend his organisation against speculation that one of the main reasons it settled on Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba as Bafana Bafana coach was that he was the cheapest candidate.

Under the headline “Mashaba not a cheap option”, Jordaan told KickOff that Safa “didn’t consider a salary package when appointing” Mashaba.

He said the deciding factor was Mashaba’s track record.

“If we had to appoint a coach at a bargain price, then there were other candidates. Clearly, we didn’t do that.

“We asked ourselves: ‘What is it that we want to achieve and who is the person who can help us achieve that?’ That person is ‘Shakes’ Mashaba. We looked at who can help us achieve what we want to achieve,” he said.

Jordaan’s assurance was sparked by Neal Collins, who wrote that Mashaba’s appointment was “a cost-effective and eminently sensible appointment, but not one to get the football-speaking world talking”.

He went on to opine: “Mashaba was, by some margin, the cheapest option on Safa’s table. That money can be pumped into development rather than high-risk wages. His salary will probably amount to around a quarter of the R22m figure being bandied about for Carlos Queiroz, the only other name presented to the technical committee.”

Wow!

Now, how does Safa defend this convincingly without revealing exactly how much it will be paying Mashaba?

This is a difficult one to handle. I am guessing that although Mashaba would prefer not to have his salary made public, he would also not like to be viewed as a cheap option.

While Safa’s financial woes are known – much as they have promised to break even this year and report a profit next year – one guesses it would also not take kindly to being branded a cheapskate.

The debate on how much Safa pays local coaches compared with foreigners is not new.

We have previously heard that on the two occasions when Jomo Sono had to take over as caretaker coach, he insisted on being paid the same rate as the person from whom he was taking over.

The first time this happened was after Frenchman Philippe Troussier and later after Queiroz.

Mashaba follows on the heels of locals Pitso Mosimane and Gordon Igesund, whose salaries were said to be R800 000 and R500 000, respectively.

Mosimane reportedly took a cut from the R1.8 million a month that World Cup-winning Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira was said to have earned, thanks to a grant from Fifa.

Igesund settled for even less than Mosimane, insisting that money was not a priority to him.

Now the question is: Will Mashaba negotiate his salary based on what Igesund was earning or what his employers had offered to Queiroz, an offer we are told was bettered by the Iranians.

As a full-time employee of Safa, Mashaba must have an inside track on what was on the table for Queiroz.

One just hopes that the excitement that has greeted Mashaba’s appointment is not spoilt by the two parties getting bogged down in monetary issues.

Mashaba has to hit the ground running. There is just so much work to be done and it has been a long time since Bafana made the nation happy.

And although it is a given that money makes the world go round, the Good Book warns us that the love of money is the root of all evil.

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