Bobby Motaung speaks out on being a chief

2015-03-29 15:01

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Manager says he’s doing his best for Amakhosi, but is just misunderstood

For years now, Kaizer Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung has been accused of bringing the club down by meddling in technical affairs, failing to have players sign contracts in good time and not attracting the right players to the glamour club.

A case in point is the perception that he is dragging his feet by not giving goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune a contract. Khune is one of three key players in Amakhosi whose contracts expire in June.

Other players who might become free agents at the end of the season are captain Tefu Mashamaite and midfielder Mandla Masango.

This is how Motaung responded to these issues:

On Khune’s situation:

“Itu’s situation is unique. Our challenge is we are dealing with someone who is abroad [Khune’s agent Dan Lichman, who is in England] and who doesn’t understand the South African market and how [player] contracts work here. The terms they are proposing are not in line with the South African market. We have told him he must come to South Africa so we can negotiate face to face and finalise it.

“Figures are not an issue here, the issue is about the terms they want to put in the contract. I think it’s a unique thing that is happening in the English Premier League [EPL]. You cannot compare what is happening in the EPL with us.”

In response, Lichman said: “Football contracts are football contracts no matter where you are. There is nothing unusual. We have not received another offer from the club. There is no issue with travel. The club knows where I have been. My job is to work for the player and that is what I will do.”

On his role at the club:

“I am not here for personal gain, but for the passion I have for the club, players and business. I don’t earn money or commissions from agents or players and I don’t do deals that will benefit me.

“I have my own businesses. I work here with passion. It’s unfortunate that when you are in a position like mine, you always get flak.”

On Mashamaite:

“Mashamaite said he needed time. We are in the final stages of finalising it [the new contract].”

On Masango:

“Mandla was supposed to have gone out on loan at the beginning of the season, but couldn’t as clubs could not match his salary. He is now in the national team and has a different attitude. It’s normal for players to be ambitious, but he must be realistic. I am confident he will sign soon.”

On former Portsmouth and Djurgårdens IF striker James Keene, who is on trial:

“We can’t sign him with six games to go. His work permit might take time. We are negotiating with him to sign for next season as our only challenge now is the league.”

On dealing with player contracts:

“A year or so during the season before a player’s contract ends, we look at our player situation because we value the players differently.

“We start from the technical point of view in terms of the coach’s plans, the usage of the player and how we value them.

“We then enter into negotiations and sometimes this process happens two years before contracts end.

“There are two players whose contracts will not be renewed and they are aware [of this].”

On dishonest players:

“Players engage delaying tactics as a means to bargain.

“A case in point was Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kingston Nkhatha.

“We get most of these players raw and put them on a pedestal, but when it comes to renewals, we have to run after them.

“It’s easy for them to join when they come from outside, but once in, it becomes a challenge to renew their contracts because they now have the power.”

On agents:

“I work with about seven or more agents as their players are here. If people talk about the myth of me cutting deals with agents, they must come with proof. Why would I do that because everything is disclosed here.”

On the club’s fickle fans:

“Supporters play a role in making decisions for players.

“Sometimes they don’t like a player, but when the player goes, they blame me. I get blamed when the team loses, but when the team wins the coach and the players get the glory.

“We need our supporters to rally behind the team all the time.”

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