South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan became the latest local football administrator to tell a European football agent where to get off.
A peeved Jordaan fired salvo towards coach Hugo Broos’ representative Gino Laureyssen of Ligi Star Management who was trending on SA media last week after accusing SAFA of unprofessionalism.
Laureyssen had told anyone who would listen how useless SAFA was as the organisation had not responded to his approach, telling them that his client was interested in the vacant Bafana Bafana job.
“It’s almost four weeks since we sent Hugo’s application and I tried to call let’s say 55 times to see if they received the application of Mr Broos.
“Nobody is giving me an answer, so I don’t know how those people (SAFA) are organising South Africa. It’s a little bit like the results of the national team I think.
“I think it’s quite disrespectful to the guy who just won the African Cup of Nations, who is interested to serve your country at reasonable conditions,” Laureyssen was widely quoted as saying last week.
However, according to the Sunday Times, “An irate Jordaan” said he chose to communicate directly with Broos after Laureyssen demanded to be paid a 20% of his client’s annual salary for the duration of the five-year contract as Bafana coach.
“What this guy is talking about I do not know. This guy should have waited until he had all the facts before he started talking about us. We will not be led by an agent, Mt 20%,” Jordaan told the weekly newspaper.
Jordaan went on to painstakingly explain what would be some of the appointee’s requirements. These would include overseeing youth structures, have a hand in development and also ensure that the junior national teams are functioning smoothly. Given this, there was no way he would have discussed and gotten into an arrangement with a middle man, he explained.
“These are not discussions you can have with an agent. You can’t hire a doctor through an agent now, can you?
“Will the agent accompany the doctor to work when he has to report for duty at the hospital?” Jordaan rightly pointed out.
Not so long ago, another European coach lost out on a job that many say was already in the bag, after his agent had the temerity to prematurely shoot off his mouth in the SA media.
One Antonio Carlo of Spain revealed that his Belgian client Ronny Van Geneugden was in negotiations with South African football giants Orlando Pirates for the then vacant post that had been left by Muhsin Ertugral last year.
“Yes, it’s true, we have been in contact with the club (Orlando Pirates), Geneugden is very interested for the job at Pirates. This is a big club with big history,” the Spaniard was quoted in these shores.
This is said to have left Pirates boss Irvin “The Iron Duke” Khoza irritated. Khoza is known for playing his cards very close to his chest and hates being “scooped” with a passion.
You go shooting off your mouth on a confidential matter, you can bet that you are headed for a major fall-out with him.
So it was that when Khoza finally made the announcement on the promised date, the name was not that of Geneugden but that of Swede, Kjell Jonevret.
We all remember how Patrice Motsepe stood his ground and refused to be bullied by European clubs and agents into releasing his club’s prized asset Keagan Dolly at their dictated terms.
It is high time that European clubs and agents start treating Africans with respect and not as monkeys who will settle for any peanuts and being treated with disdain.
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 over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.
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