Keagan Dolly’s father Ramon Dolly’s version of events that led to an ugly dispute between his son and Mamelodi Sundowns claims that it was on club president Patrice Motsepe’s insistence that the buyout clause in the player’s contract be R25-million.
Ramon‚ who also works for the Siyavuma Sports agency which represents Dolly‚ said in an interview with the SABC that the family had never wanted their son to return to Downs‚ where he had been a youth product.
In the interview with the public broadcaster, Ramon Dolly contradicted Motsepe’s view that if it were up to the Downs president he would sell Dolly for “R5”‚ but that he had a board of directors to answer to.
Ramon alleged Motsepe’s direct involvement‚ in the form of a phone call‚ in the initial contract talks in August 2014 saw an initial proposal for a buyout clause doubled from an initial‚ agreed-upon €750 000.
“When they were interested in Keagan‚ we as a family really didn’t want him to go back to Sundowns. Because we had struggled to get him out of Sundowns when he was a junior‚” Ramon Dolly told the public broadcaster.
“But they [Sundowns] kept on pressing – ‘They want Keagan‚ they want Keagan’. And we sat down as a family and a company‚ and discussed what the good way was for Keagan.
“It was a buyout clause – that was the only way we would let Keagan go back to Sundowns. They didn’t want to put that in‚ [but] eventually they came around.
“My director‚ Paul Mitchell‚ was doing the negotiations with [Sundowns’ commercial and legal manager] Yogesh Singh. And before anything he would come back to me as the father‚ and say‚ ‘What should we do and how are we doing it?
“We came up with this figure of around 750 000. And they [Downs] agreed to it in principle. Mitchell flew to Cape Town with the contract‚ and Keagan signed it‚ and we all had to sign it.
“All of a sudden there was a phone call from [Downs president] Patrice [Motsepe]. He wanted the buyout clause to be €1.5-million.
“And it was a shock for us. Why now‚ after we agreed as professionals? What went wrong? Myself and Paul weren’t available‚ but we went around discussing and putting our heads together. Must we sign it?
“And eventually for Keagan‚ from where he had been at Ajax‚ where that [his salary] was peanuts‚ let me be straight‚ playing for three years in the PSL – that was not good for him. He needed more.
“And we decided that‚ OK‚ it’s good for him‚ let’s sign the contract.
“But in the contract – this‚ I know – the amount was that’s in this second contract of 2015 was the amount that was in the first [unchanged] contract of 2014.
“And all of a sudden it’s a mistake. And I don’t know – honestly‚ how can you make a mistake like that?
“I’m not a lawyer‚ but there were two lawyers involved. Yogesh Singh and another lady‚ who I believe was called Govender … . They handled these contracts. Are you telling me they couldn’t pick up a mistake after 15 or 16 months?
“What I think is that they never thought a European club would come for Keagan. Then now they’re claiming it’s a mistake.”
Motsepe held a press conference this week‚ going as far as saying he personally would sell Dolly for R5 if he could‚ but that he had a board of directors to answer to.
Downs have admitted to a mistake they made in a new buyout clause when Dolly’s contract was updated in August 2015.
A figure of R12-million was somehow changed to R25-million‚ an amount Montpellier and Oympiacos were willing to surpass until Downs successfully took Dolly to the Premier Soccer League’s Dispute Resolution Chamber to have the initial sum restored.
Ramon said there were nine changes made in the clause involving the buyout sum‚ disputing Motsepe’s claim that only “one mistake”‚ in good faith‚ had been made.
“They claim it was one mistake – it’s a whole new clause there. There’s a currency change‚ there’s a date in 2015’s contract‚ the amount has changed‚” he said.
“There are a lot of things – 10 or nine changes. Different wording and changes. We accepted it. Like we had accepted the first contract signed in 2014. And now we accepted the one in 2015.
“And they [Sundowns] accepted it. Because both lawyers signed – Yogesh Singh and Govender.
“And how can it be a mistake‚ when there’s a whole different clause? Everything has changed – the whole lot.”
Sundowns’ legal head Singh and CEO Sizwe Nzimande could not be reached for contact.
Dolly had an outstanding 2016‚ winning the Premier Soccer League and Caf Champions League.
– TMG Sport