Mamelodi Sundowns billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe says the dispute over a buyout clause in Keagan Dolly’s contract irritated him so much that he would have been willing to sell the player for just R5 if the decision was entirely up to him.
The mining magnate said while he owns the club‚ he still has to account to a board of directors and their assertion was that Sundowns were vindicated after Dolly lost his case against the club at the Premier Soccer League’s dispute resolution chamber last week.
‘‘If it were entirely up to me‚ I would say (to Dolly) forget it man‚ just go tomorrow and forget about the buyout clause‚ even if they pay us R5 or even if they pay us nothing‚” a candid Motsepe said.
‘‘We have got to try and make sure that these sort of things do not happen again because this is not good for us (and the club’s image).”
Sundowns contested the R12 million buyout clause in Dolly’s contract should he receive interest from European clubs.
The player was livid that he had to pay out R200 000 from his own pocket on legal fees in the long-running dispute.
Sundowns themselves claimed the changes made in Dolly’s new contract‚ signed 17 months ago‚ were a mistake made by the club.
Motsepe said he personally called the player and told him that he had his full backing in the midst of the furore.
The mining magnate revealed that an unnamed Sundowns official made the changes to Dolly’s contract without consultation and was responsible for a blunder that has put the club in a negative light.
He further alleged that whoever made the changes may have been bribed.
‘‘The first thing that arose on the Dolly issue is that some of the board members were saying ’no‚ the people who changed it (the contract) and halved it were given money.’
‘‘The person who changed it from R5 to R10 did it because they gave him money to say go and change it.
‘‘Why must you have a buyout clause for R10-million that is signed and you change it to R5million?
‘‘We did it‚ not them. So the first question was Patrice‚ you know‚ stop living in your own world. The person who changed it from R10-million to R5-million was given something.”
The Sundowns boss said he has taken steps to avoid a repeat and from now on‚ three signatures will be required to make changes on contracts and not just one.
He said he accepts full responsibility for an incident that has been a public relations disaster for a club that should still be celebrating winning the African Champions League last year.
‘‘Never ever again will one person be allowed to make changes to contracts alone‚” he said.
‘‘Who is the most senior person at Mamelodi Sundowns? It is Patrice Motsepe.
‘‘So the blame and the responsibility‚ whether I know or I don’t know‚ it happened under my watch.
‘‘That is why I have got to come here‚ account and explain as best I can.”