Be honest, any other businessman would have done the same

2010-08-14 00:00

MONEY, money, money.

I need some, you may want some and some bigwigs at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) offices have just received a fair chunk of it for doing their jobs.

Well, and let us be honest here, can we really blame them?

At a time when high-ranking officials in other industries line their pockets with millions while being on leave pending investigations or court cases, can we really blame them for pocketing a little extra for actually doing something?

Yes, it would have been very heartening to see some of the cash — all of it would be asking for far too much — to go towards, oh let’s say the development of the next Makhaya Ntini, Jacques Kallis or even some T20 slugger who might finally give South Africa some international silverware.

But that would be in an ideal world.

In an ideal world, that Indian Premier League season would have been held in India anyway. And we would not have been subjected to gyrating cheerleaders, cringeworthy commentary and the small matter of all the world’s leading lights in town for a few weeks.

South Africa was at the right place at the right time, and Gerald Majola and his team seized the chance to showcase our ability to host a party at short notice.

How many of your friends would, at very short notice, allow you to throw your eight-year-old son’s birthday party at their house — complete with food fights, treasure hunts and tantrums — and then palm off your thank you present because they did it out of love?

When CSA accepted the IPL gig, they knew there would be risk. And with that comes plenty of reward for a job well done.

Let’s just crunch a few numbers while we are at it, shall we?

A total of R4,7 million in performance bonuses was paid to more than 40 CSA employees for hosting the Indian Premier League and the Champions Trophy.

More than R3 million was split between Majola and former chief operating officer Don McIntosh.

Heck, they have even had the good grace to leave some for the rest of the staff — which is a lot more than can be said for some other leaders!

Why, just the other day there was a function at the office for some readers.

Now I consider myself blessed with a quick turn of pace when in close proximity to buffets and such wonders.

On this occasion, however, our nifty new editor and his chums had done a Tyson Gay on me, and before I knew it all that was left were those meaningless veggie samoosas and some half-chewed meatball.

I just had to let that out.

Now, let us go back to that little get-together we had here from June 11.

You know, the one with the Hollywood extras who kept on falling over whenever they saw grass.

Well, anyway, when you consider that it was the most profitable World Cup ever, you have to wonder about that bonus structure.

Let us also remember that some of those who were in charge of delivering the World Cup successfully in South Africa also pocketed massive bonuses for securing sponsorship deals for the PSL. We’re talking about the kinda bonuses that make R4,7 million look like a tip at a restaurant.

Maybe, just maybe, I am fighting in cricket’s corner because I am rather fond of a bit of wood on leather.

But, and this is the harsh truth, money is what makes sport of all kinds tick.

Yet people are still surprised or irked when such figures are made public.

It is funny how an SAA bigwig or a Telkom chief can bumble his way through his tenure and still get millions, yet when sports administrators act in a “business-like manner” they are accused of being greedy — and while doing a half-decent job, nogal.

Why doesn’t former Eskom chief Jacob Maroga offset some of the R85 million he is claiming, and instead fund needy electrical engineering students?

Is CSA not a business?

Is the SA Football Association not the same?

Heck, is Fifa not the most profitable “non-profitable” piece of work you have ever seen?

These are businesses, people, and the kind of bonus Sepp Blatter must have pocketed from his African adventure would make even Maroga sound “simple”.

So, before we jump on the bandwagon and accuse all those within the currently sparkling four walls of the CSA of being greedy, let us consider the reasons behind these bonuses.

They did their job. And now they are patting themselves on the back. Handsomely.

It is not ideal, but that is the kind of world we live in. Money talks.

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