OFFICIAL: Sundowns Win Case Against Keagan Dolly
The South African Football Players Union have confirmed that the PSL’s Dispute Resolutions Chamber has ruled in favour of Mamelodi Sundowns over Keagan Dolly.
Sundowns took their star midfielder to the DRC to contest a buyout clause of around €750,000 (R12.5m) that was written into his contract – that was signed 17 months prior – stating that it was too low. According to SAFPU, their argument was that a mistake was made by them, and that they wanted it to be rectified to an amount around £1.5m (R24m)
SAFPU have previously stated their unhappiness at the timing of Sundowns’ argument, saying that they only brought up this issue once there was interest from Greek giants, Olympiacos.
Interest is now growing in Dolly following a stellar 2016, and the Siya crew reported earlier this week that French club, Montpellier, had lodged a bid worth around €1m (R14.3m), joining the Greeks on his growing list of admirers.
After admitting their disappointment in the DRC’s decision, SAFPU went on to criticise the body for their lack of objectivity, claiming that they err on the side of the club’s and don’t look out for the players themselves.
Lastly, it was explained that SAFPU and Dolly’s representatives will be appealing the decision and taking it to SAFA’s Appeals Board, and will go as far as taking it to FIFA in order to see ‘justice’ served.
A statement this evening said:
It’s now history that the PSL’s DRC has ruled against Keagan Dolly, despite the strong case he had, and let alone the admission of a mistake from the club, Mamelodi Sundowns.
This is a sad day in a life of South African football players, because this ruling has far reaching consequences regarding the contract stability in the league. This particular ruling confirms the opinion that we have always had of the DRC, and unless the PSL’s DRC transform and complies with FIFA rules (Circular 10.10 and 11.29) players will forever be at the receiving end of decisions such as this.
The circulars talk of Equal Representation from both the employer and players’ representatives, and an independent chairperson agreed to by both parties. If that was the case we would have confidence that the player’s interests will be listened to. The current status quo doesn't instil confidence regarding matters pertaining to players .
Players contracts are mostly terminated without just cause, and the DRC is forever lenient towards the clubs. It is for that reasons that we say the DRC is bias towards clubs.
What does this ruling mean to players? In the long term it could threaten the national team’s performance. We know by law that there is ratification, but you can’t change the entire clause. With Dolly, entire sentences were changed, are we saying this is a new contract? By law only the numbers can change. We can’t allow that to happen.
If the players had make mistakes would it hold water for players to claim them as mistakes? Would PSL DRC consider that? This is a threat to contractual stability.
And what next for Dolly in this case? SAFPU went on:
“Unfortunately we must take this to the SAFA Appeals Board - who also doesn’t comply – but our bet is that after that we will go straight to Arbitration. If we can’t find joy there then we will go to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport).
We will do everything in our power to find justice on this Dolly Issue, but our best bet is to rally players on this matter to fight for their rights. Today it is Keagan Dolly, but tomorrow it will be somebody else.
“We are at this point asked for a hearing with Mamelodi Sundowns to find out the real issue here. The real issue is to get SAFA Arbitration to change this ruling, because in our view there is a problem there. How can you change the contract which has been lodged at the PSL? We will do everything to get Dolly justice. We feel the PSL, the Board of Governors and SAFA need to come on board to discuss these issues. We can’t always have player being at the receiving end. We can discuss and find a solution with Mamelodi Sundowns, but the real problem is the issue of the PSL’s DRC failing to comply with FIFA rules.
The lives of the players really matter. We call all players to rally around this issue and protect their rights. We will soldier on and we believe that – after reading the verdict – that we should have won the case.
Remember we signed a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) with the PSL in 2012 but so far nothing has happened as it included PSL DRC, Insurance and other issues. This reluctance from the PSL has a negative impact on players rights. We will continue fighting the rights for our members.