S'Busiso Mseleku

PSL salaries a crying shame

2015-07-21 14:51
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

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' welfare.

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 organisers.

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.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    psl  |  s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer

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