It's ironic that less than a month after the soccer
scene was abuzz with news that Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Teko Modise earned
a monthly salary of around R450 000 (which he said was not enough to save for
comfortable retirement), it has emerged that there are PSL players who get as little as R5 000.
This is an insult!
Just the other day, AmaZulu were prepared to part with
R82 million to acquire the status of Mpumalanga Black Aces after being
relegated to the National First Division (NFD).
This at least, gives an indication of how much a PSL
club is worth.
So, how on earth can a business that is worth a
whopping R82 million or more, pay some of its employees a paltry R5 000 monthly
salary? If that is not slavery or daylight robbery, then I don't know what is.
About 10 years ago, I wrote an article about Lungisani
Ndlela who earned R5 000 at Moroka Swallows at the time. The article caused
such a stir and led to the player - who was a prolific goal-scorer at the time
- being snatched by Sundowns who reportedly started him on R20 000 per month.
To find out that there are still clubs such as Ajax
Cape Town and Polokwane City who are still paying their players this amount at
this day and age, is more than appalling or disgusting.
It shows that after that shock those years ago - maybe
some just faked being shocked - people are still paying lip service to players'
Somebody - more especially those who claim to have
players interest at heart - need to do something drastic to eliminate this
scourge of exploitation of youngsters who are trying to make a living out of
the talent that God gave them.
And then in the midst of all this, there was the
circus called The King's Cup that was staged at Swaziland's Somhlolo National
Stadium on Saturday.
The shindig - featuring two South African giants
Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates against their Swazi counterparts Mbabane
Swallows and Royal Leopards - carried a R1 million prize money.
The eager organisers had the temerity to charge R250
per head at the gate. Now, where they got that figure, boggles the mind.
I mean, the normal fee for a PSL match is R40. Maybe
R80 or R100 would have been fair. But in their eagerness to make a fast buck, the organisers decided
to take soccer lovers for a ride and charge them this exorbitant fee.
And what did the fans do? They voted with their feet
and stayed away. Less than half the
expected capacity crowd of 20 000 turned up as only around 8 000 made it to the hallowed cauldron.
This was a plan that backfired badly for the
But it did not end there. The anticipated Soweto Derby
final did not materialise either as Chiefs and Pirates were knocked out in the
semi-finals by the less fancied Swallows and Leopards, respectively.
The dour affair had all three matches decided on
penalties with Swallows taking home the first prize.
But I like it when soccer fans show their might and
this was one instance where they did.
I hope it serves as
a lesson to those serving football and those who want to take chances
that you can't fool all the people all the time.
S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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