Over the past couple of years the debate about Mamelodi Sundowns “hogging talent with a view to weakening other clubs” has been a raging debate, amplified by Jabu Mahlangu a couple of days ago, ostensibly triggered by the Kaizer Chiefs loss and the gap that Sundowns has opened at the apex of the Premiership.
First of all, I can boldly debunk the myth that Sundowns buys players for the mere objective of weakening other clubs. I’m saying this because, even as most people think that the Motsepes are the richest club owners, I know that they are very strict with their money and would never allow such a scheme to operate.
Secondly, I’ve been at Kloorkop and have witnessed the hunger that every single player displays to the coaches, literally giving their all to say to the coaches, “I’m not here to add numbers I wanna play”. I’ve run workshops at the club and have had deep conversations with the players, coaches and managers.
As a football administrator, it was easy for me to identify the winning formula that’s not just based on employing good coaches but on the inculcation of an organizational culture which creates no room for failure.
One could write a thesis, and even produce a textbook, on the management strategy at the club which makes it so successful.
What other clubs need to do, instead of being cry-babies about the player signing philosophy at Sundowns, should ask Sundowns to share their strategies with the rest of the other clubs. Each club will still retain its unique approach to things but the spine of how things are done at Sundowns forms the basis of what every serious football club should be doing, so that only the added flesh (unique ideas) provides competitiveness.
Criticism and complaints will never win you games. The very concept of financial fair play has nothing to do with which, or how many, players a club can sign.