Pitso Mosimane: ‘We Risked Losing Players by Giving Khama the Salary he got from Chiefs’

Johannesburg – Mamelodi Sundowns had no option but to let Khama Billiat loose – after he demanded a hefty salary, which could have left other players dejected – and possibly cause a massive player exodus.

Media reports say, Billiat requested for $700 000 from Egyptian giants Zamalek – though the club reduced his demands to $400 000 – leading to a stalemate. In addition, he dumped European outfits because they could not suit his price.

“But, honestly speaking, if we gave Khama what he wanted, that he got from Chiefs, I would lose Themba Zwane, Tiyani Mabunda, Gaston Sirino, even Percy (Tau), who is still our player remember.

“It’s his decision (to join Chiefs). That’s what he wanted. But it’s important for us as Sundowns to look after the dressing room.

“I think everybody knows that we look after our players well, and people know that we are not one of those clubs that don’t pay.
Khama Billiat and Percy Tau

“I would lose Denis Onyango, African Player of the Year, Tebogo Langerman. I would lose all these players just for one man, no, it’s not possible.” Mosimane told Kick-Off.

It’s the first time that a high-ranking Sundowns official has revealed that their divorce with Billiat was based on financial disagreements.

The Zimbabwe international moved to join Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs, the biggest and most supported football club in South Africa. Mosimane was concerned of the team, rather than an individual, in Billiat’s case.

“I don’t want to talk about other teams, they know what they’re doing, but Denis Onyango is important to me. It means I must give all these players that kind of money. No, it’s not possible.

“We would lose the dressing room. It’s good for football where Khama went and got the money, because football is a short career, and we’re happy for him.”

“So, I’ll rather lose one player hey. We gave him a good offer. Trust me, it was a big offer. The offer that we gave, he could have been the highest paid player, which would probably have taken four years for that record to be broken.”

However, others have suggested that Billiat was disappointed that he was underpaid for a long time at Sundowns despite being one of the club’s best players in the past three years.

In January last year, Keagan Dolly had to fight tooth and nail to secure a move abroad as Sundowns didn’t want to accept French side Montpellier’s offer for his services.

And the Pretoria side are also facing similar challenges with Tau who is wanted by English Premiership side Brighton & Hove Albion. Tau is reported to be now begging Sundowns to allow him to go overseas after receiving several offers in recent months.

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