Bobby Motaung says Kaizer Chiefs’ battle to sign big-name players is influenced by no club in South Africa wanting to empower Amakhosi.
Chiefs have so far struggled to lure the prime targets which have been anticipated by their followers, and have settled for mainly out-of-contract player on the local market and then turning to clubs in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Mozambique to pay transfer fees.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Keagan Buchanan and Enocent Mkhabela were all heading towards being out of contract, Sibusiso Khumalo came courtesy of a swap deal, while Emmanuel Letlotlo was promoted from the club’s development structures.
“There is no club that wants to empower Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa and that is why the emphasis of the structures that we are putting in now,” he says in reference to the juniors facility being developed at their base in Naturena.
“You must remember that every club has ambitions. Every club has its own plans and they want to win things and if you look at the top three/four teams, it is difficult for them to sell to each other because they all want to win the league and the cups.
“So there are ambitions and plans, clubs have their own way of dealing with things. Some, they bargain, some clubs want players with money, and we also have to look at our own business models – how much can we spend, how much can we negotiate for and how much can we give in?
“Sometimes a club will say okay you want this one, you want Bobby and then the club says I want Thabo from you. I cannot give a George Lebese and I cannot give whoever.
“I have my own ambitions and clubs have their own ambitions and we need to respect that, which is why our emphasis is now on development and making sure that we go aggressively on our scouting network,” says Motaung, who has been criticised for not building solid relationships with other clubs and agents.
“We do have relationships. Sometimes you look at teams and a typical example is Wits who are a top two or three all the time, they are looking at their position and they want to compete. We have a very good relationship with Wits, we don’t have issues but they have got a right to say we can trade or we cannot trade. Those are clubs that we are always dealing with, sometimes they want certain players from us which we also have plans for. It depends, it’s business.
“For Chiefs, if any player wants to leave Kaizer Chiefs we negotiate, we are open and we have done that with Sundowns and other clubs even if we are competing at that level. It is more about what people’s objectives are, we have wanted certain players from Wits before, not only Sbu (Vilakazi), and they refused. It is normal because it is their right, we don’t have to be imposing. Like I am saying our emphasis is on developing our own. Wits don’t want to sell to Chiefs because they have this dream of winning the league one day. So if they strengthen Chiefs then they will not win the league so they have ambitions. Every club has ambitions.”
The Chiefs football manager adds that no player comes for free.
“I will start to ask the question of who was ever free? I don’t remember a free player. There is nothing for mahala. In this group that we have now we have purchased players and those that were out of contract are still costly because you still pay, the agents still wants to say for you to get this player in May or end of May there is a fee that you must pay so there is nothing for free. In the league right now it is difficult to buy any player unless somebody has financial problems or somebody wants to make a killing then they can sell to Chiefs. But in all fairness nobody wants to give, I can tell you now. There is nothing like a free contract player,” he details.