Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has revealed that Khama Billiat left for Kaizer Chiefs because Downs weren’t willing to match his financial demands.
The 27-year-old forward saw his contract run out at Chloorkop at the end of June, and despite reportedly receiving several offers from abroad, he decided to move to the Amakhosi on a free transfer, a move which certainly left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Masandawana faithful.
Mosimane has now revealed that despite his efforts to convince Billiat to stay at the club, his financial demands could not be met by Downs, who did not want to risk a dressing room mutiny over players’ wages.
Speaking to KickOff.com Mosimane said, ’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.
‘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.
‘I would lose Denis Onyango – African Player of the Year – [and] Tebogo Langerman… I would lose all these players just for one man. No, it’s not possible.
‘It means I must give all these players that kind of money.
‘At Sundowns, we have a collective team that you all know – this one scores seven goals, this one scores eight, that one six. So, there’s no way we could [meet Billiat’s demands],’ the Downs coach added.
‘It’s a new market now [South African football wage market], but I don’t want the next player in my team to come and say to me, “Excuse me, I’m also important in the team. Can you match that? How can you pay one man that?”
‘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.
‘Where he is now, I don’t know how many years it’s going to take [to break his record].’