JOHANNESBURG - Here is a riddle for you: I am the truth today and a lie tomorrow, what am I? Answer: The transfer window, more commonly known as the silly season.
Agents are coming out to play over the next two months, and in case you missed it they were let loose on July 1, but don’t be fooled because they never really rest.
While some of these chaps are good and honest guys working extremely hard to make a living and change lives, some of them have been described in the past as “the scum of the earth”.
Already one player representative has been accused of peddling lies - offering one of his clients to several interested parties and making death threats when the potential deal fell through.
That is one of plenty of similar cases, but the stories aren’t often told. In the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) these guys have a field day, the lack of transparency to the press and the public adding fuel to the fire.
It’s a busy time for the men that broker deals in an attempt to beef up their squads, but a frustrating period for the fans - today your club is linked with Steven Pienaar, and tomorrow that same player in on the verge of committing his future elsewhere. Incredibly annoying.
And it is not just the PSL coaches who hate the fact that the transfer window period stays open for a good few weeks into the new campaign, giving them sleepless nights as most of them - five or so games into the campaign - would not be able to tell you their starting line-up given that management has yet to deliver on its promise to purchase one more signing that completes the jigsaw puzzle.
World governing body Fifa has yet to entertain the idea of shutting the window closed prior to the start of the season.
Mind you the players would love to have their futures sorted out way before pre-season. As things stand, you would be hard-pressed to find a team without an unsettled player (s) ahead of the big kick-off next month.
And where there is an unhappy player, there is an agent promising greener pastures as well as heaven and earth. It is just how the cookie crumbles.
These chaps are relentless even, and the noise grows louder during this time of year because there is no football to offer some distraction. They are on the phone through out the year negotiating new contracts, release clauses and signing-on-fees, but they do this away from the public and they are a little restricted because they are given dates in which to get some of these deals approved.
July, August and January is their harvesting period.
Agents are always in your face, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Last week at the Bidvest Wits awards, club chief executive Jose Ferreira gave the best example yet of what goes on in his world during the transfer window.
“We get phone calls from agents all the time. And the problem is this - and it happens all the time. You get a phone call from an agent who says ‘I represent Teko Modise’ as an example - I’m not saying I’ve had that call. And they say ‘Would you be interested?’
"And they don’t even listen to the answer because immediately it finds its way to the newspapers and we are now ‘Interested in Teko Modise’.
"Why? Because I received a call from the agent asking if I was interested in the player. And the agents like to play that game. I have been approached by agents for about 200 or 300 different players. And I can assure you if we signed one or two of them it will be way too many.”
Mazola’s column will be back on August 9.