Sundowns players and coaches missed out on an opportunity to share R65-million carrot dangled by Motsepe

Mamelodi Sundowns players and technical staff have been left wondering what might have been after missing out on an opportunity to share a R65-million carrot dangled by club boss Patrice Motsepe.

The Sundowns billionaire owner revealed that he told the team he would give them the entire $5-million prize money (R65-million at the time) if they managed to win the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan last month.

But the Brazilians failed to win a match in Japan after defeats to Japanese side Kashima Antlers and Korea club Jeonbuk Hyundai.

‘‘There are one or two things I deliberately kept out (of the media)‚ I mean‚ hey‚ these guys could have won R65-million hey in the Club World Cup‚” Motsepe said.

‘‘I wanted to motivate the players and I wanted to give them an opportunity to really perform as best as they could.”

While the Sundowns players missed out on sharing the massive pay cheque‚ they still had reason to smile after winning the African Champions League (R20‚9-million) and the domestic PSL league title (R10-million.

They also received R700 000 from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula in recognition of their Champions League triumph.

Motsepe kept to his promise and the team shared all the money they won last year.

‘‘When I bought Sundowns (in 2003) I said every competition we play in‚ and I mean every one‚ none of the prize money would come back to me‚” he said.

‘‘I do not think I will be breaking confidence with players but 80% of the prize money goes to the players and they decide how they divide it.

‘‘The remaining 20% goes to the staff. What usually happens without exception is that there are some people I think are sometimes not recognised the way they should.

‘‘So there hasn’t been a competition we have won without me adding on what they have won.”

Sundowns also pay some of the best salaries on the continent and Motsepe himself said he is confident that some of the players on his payroll earn money than they would in some leagues in Europe.

‘‘We pay more in South Africa‚ just listen very carefully to me because we know what the going rate is‚ than some of the clubs in Europe.

‘‘We also have an obligation to football in this country. Football is not about Mamelodi Sundowns. Football in this country is about all the other clubs.

‘‘When I got involved in Sundowns I quite deliberately increased the wage bill and it was a conscientious decision.

‘‘I have no doubt the other clubs will do the same and it is good for football.

"We did not go into football to make money. We went into football as part of the obligation we have as family to give back to the people of this country.

‘‘There are a lot of other things we have to do. You can’t have Patrice Motsepe‚ his wife and family living in luxury and wealth and side by side with that you have abject poverty.

‘‘You would have a revolution and you would deserve a revolution.” — TMG Digital