PRETORIA – Pitso Mosimane has stated he has no intention of stepping down as head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, but at the same time, gave the impression of not being entirely happy with his working conditions.
A weekend report suggested that Mosimane wants to leave the team with whom he won the CAF Champions League in 2016, as well as four domestic league titles, due to a supposed rift between himself and club management.
Reportedly, Sundowns are set to bring in a Technical Director next month, and Mosimane, with all the success he has enjoyed at the club, feels this would undermine him.
Speaking at Monday's Absa Premiership's launch function for the new season, Mosimane was put up in front of the media and had the opportunity to directly address the rumours.
He denied he could be leaving the Pretoria side, yet made mention of 'politics' and 'the club's space', a likely reference to off-the-field issues that he's not happy about.
“I'm not resigning, that's why I am honouring this press conference, “ he said. “But if you want to ask more about why, who, where, then go to Sundowns. Sundowns must answer that.
“I can't speak on behalf of Sundowns – I'm a football coach. If you ask me who played‚ who's not playing and whatever – that's my space. But the rest of the space is the club space. We [coaches] always have to stay away from politics and focus on the football game.
“Our job is on the pitch‚ not what's happening in the office. So those questions I think you should refer to Sundowns. The club might speak on that – I don't know. My job is to answer what happens on the pitch. I'm employed for the results, not the politics or other things. I might be affected, I might not be affected, but go to Sundowns.”
Reading between the lines, Mosimane's comments may well suggest that he's not pleased about the pending arrival of a new Technical Director.
Again though he iterated that he has no intention to leave the club where he has been employed since December 2012.
“I'm happy to coach at Sundowns. I want to win the league, I want to give Sundowns a 10th title. I want Sundowns to have their 50th-anniversary celebration. I am committed to that. I'm at Sundowns because I want to be at Sundowns. I'm not at Sundowns because of money. If I want more money, I can get it and I have refused it. I'm honouring my contract with Sundowns.”
Masandawana won the league title last season and reached the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.
The Tshwane outfit have made just one notable signing in the off-season, Uruguay striker Mauricio Affonso.
They do have an abundance of cover in their squad, although the likes of Jeremy Brockie and Emiliano Tade and Phakamani Mahlambi are still to find their scoring form, while there are a host of internationally capped players that barely featured last season.
Despite the abundance of options they have, the Brazilians have been linked with Khama Billiat, the player they sold to Kaizer Chiefs a year ago.
Asked to comment on this, Mosimane was mindful of his words, but also never said he wasn't interested in the Zimbabwean forward.
“I need to respect Chiefs, a big institution. And the league will fine me if they complain, that I am poaching their players. If we want Khama, then what we need to do is speak club to club – you know the story. And they will say whether they are selling or not.
“Even (Lionel) Messi has got a price, let's be honest. If anyone comes to me and says they will give me $1 million net, I am gone.
“We all have a price, everybody has a price, even you the media. Even my players at Sundowns have a price. But I can't talk about it because he belongs to Chiefs.”
African News Agency (ANA)