Compliments of the New Year to all our beloved Soccer-Laduma readers! I trust you all had a great festive season and that you’re raring to make the most of 2014!
Let me also wish Gordon Igesund and his charges all the best in the 2014 Chan, hoping that Cape Town soccer lovers will make the most of the rare opportunity to host Bafana.
It’s that time of year again - the transfer window period. This is an exciting and adrenaline-pumping period for the passionate football scribes as they’re kept on their toes, trying to stay on top of every transfer move. Unfortunately, the media’s integrity is sometimes unfairly questioned because of the dynamics that come into play during this period.
Lebogang Manyama’s on-then-off move to Kaizer Chiefs from Ajax Cape Town set the ball rolling for what is set to go down as one of the most controversial and confusing transfer windows in recent PSL history.
As everyone now knows, both Ajax and Chiefs confirmed the move as a done deal, until the player’s agent, former Ajax Cape Town, Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United midfielder Alfred Phiri dropped the bomb! Phiri, who made 13 Bafana Bafana appearances, quickly distanced himself and the player from the two clubs’ ‘agreement’ and went on to question their wisdom in going public with their ‘agreed terms’ before meeting with the player, when they (Phiri and Manyama) had other options to look at. What transpired is well-documented, as Manyama has since signed with SuperSport United, leaving both Chiefs and Ajax with huge egg on their faces.
Then followed the Lehlohonolo Majoro-saga! Similarly to what happened with Manyama, Majoro’s move from Chiefs to SuperSport was confirmed as a done deal by his agent, until that turned out not to be the case! The much-talked about swap deal involving George Maluleka and Majoro, once again, saw two clubs agreeing terms, a player allegedly agreeing in principle to the deal and an official announcement made! A few days later, the Majoro part of the deal was off!
Throughout this fiasco, the media kept close tabs on the developments and duly informed the public but, interestingly, some questioned the ‘conflicting stories’ and went as far as labelling the media as ‘liars’. Although I fully understand the readers’ frustration when one minute they’re told that the deal is done, only to read a few days later that it is actually not, I hope we have all learned something from these two moves that didn’t happen.
I know a lot of people will be questioning the media’s rush to publish a story when it isn’t yet confirmed, but our duty is to get you the stories as they happen. Nine times out of 10 we know about the deals even before some of the parties involved know about them. Therefore our duty is to keep you informed and if, or when, the dynamics change, then it is our duty to come back to you with an update. This isn’t, in any way, us going back on our original story but the nature of the business. We’re not going to twiddle our thumbs and wait for the clubs to confirm the news before we can ‘break’ it. Our duty and mandate is to give you the news as it happens. I also hope that teams will learn from these two unfortunate and embarrassing incidents.
Silly season this!