Too much back-biting is keeping Downs down – insider

2011-02-05 19:56

The arrival of two-time Premier Soccer League Player of the Season and R5-million purchase Teko Modise at Mamelodi Sundowns last week was overshadowed by off-the-field shenanigans at the Tshwane-based club.

One doesn’t have to go inside the club’s offices to learn that mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s gravy train is awash with hangers-on who are just freeloading while looking after their personal interests.

Motsepe has tried to revive the culture of the club by hiring former players, but the responsibilities of the likes of Jan “Malombo” Lechaba, Harries “TV4” Chueu, Alex “Barnes” Bapela, Daniel “Mambush” Mudau, Trott Moloto, Walter Kutumela and Sudesh Singh are just too vague to understand.

For two weeks now the club’s administration has failed to resolve the impasse with top striker Katlego “Killer” Mphela, who has refused to attend training until his demands are met.

Mphela wants out of the club and alleged that it had reneged on its promise to let him go if an overseas offer availed itself.

The supporters stormed the club’s Chloorkop headquarters last weekend, demanding the resignation of general manager Kenneth Makhanya, Ted Dumitru, Moloto and Spanish coach Antonio López Habas.

Makhanya is accused of running the club down by his management style. But where does the problem lie?

According to an insider, no one knows exactly who is doing what, when and where as there are too many loafers whose responsibilities are not clearly defined. The source said the issue with the administration was that “there is too much back-biting”.

“You always have to look behind your back because people have nothing else to do but rubbish others the whole day.

How do the supporters know what is happening within the club if there isn’t anyone informing them?” the source asked.

Downs’ communications manger, Alex Shakoane, said allegations were nonsense: “If people want to know who’s doing what (at the club), they must ask. Everyone has a job to do.”

If former owner Zola Mahobe’s chequebook turned Sundowns from hopeless chumps into a feared, formidable, championship-winning side almost 25 years ago, Motsepe’s has not done the same, and the sooner he cracks the whip, the better.

Although he has invested a lot of money since taking over the reigns from the Tsichlas family about eight years ago, the
results on and off the field have not shown. With the team’s current dwindling fortunes, Motsepe’s chequebook alone cannot take the club to dizzy heights.

Although he has entrusted people to run the affairs of the club, they have failed dismally to deliver. If Motsepe really has the club’s interest at heart, he should have intervened a while ago before things got worse, as the signs have always been there.

He has also been accused of not devoting time to the club, calling meetings at ungodly hours and not taking firm action against those who are pulling the team down. At the rate things are going, he will not realise his dream of conquering the African continent unless he tightens all the screws.

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