Unfortunately, various media reports over the weekend, yesterday and today, have cast doubt over the manner in which Ajax Cape Town conducts its business with regards to the transfer of its players.
It would come as no surprise, that third parties, would have resorted to using the media as a tool to achieve their goals at the detriment of the various role players involved in this transfer, namely the Chairman of Orlando Pirates Dr Irvin Khoza and Ajax CEO Ari Efstathiou, the persons directly associated with the transfer of the two players.
It is normal practice that negotiations regarding the transfer of a player takes place between the buying and selling club prior to the player having been made aware of any possible transfer. When an agreement has been reached between the two clubs, the selling club will brief the player/agent of the status quo regarding the potential transfer. Once this has been done, the selling club will then give permission to the buying club to talk to the player to conclude personal terms and contract with the new club. The contract between the two clubs is always subject to the player having agreed terms with the new club (this was stated in both the Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town press releases).
Events surrounding the Mobara issue
A few months ago, it came to the attention of the CEO of Ajax Cape Town that Mobara had been approached by Mamelodi Sundowns regarding a potential move. The CEO immediately contacted Mamelodi Sundowns’ CEO, Sizwe Nzimande and notified him that a high-ranking employee of his club has been making contact with the player and that this should cease immediately as the player was currently contracted to Ajax Cape Town. He also advised him that should they be interested in the services of Mobara, they should contact him directly. Even after the communication between CEO’s, the communication from Sundowns to the player did not cease. The tapping of contracted players is strictly prohibited by FIFA rules but it seems to be normal practice in South Africa.
In the meantime, interest in the two players had been expressed from Orlando Pirates six months prior and negotiations had started regarding the potential move for both Mobara and Norodien. Once the deal had been concluded, approximately 10 days ago, it was agreed by both clubs that prior to negotiations regarding their personal terms could take place, the Ajax Cape Town CEO would call in the players/agent to advise them of the potential transfer. Ajax Cape Town contacted both players once the deal between the two clubs had been concluded.
Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to Ajax Cape Town, a media release by Orlando Pirates was made regarding the transfer of both players before any meeting was able to take place. Ajax Cape Town immediately tried to contact the players after this incident and managed to get hold of Norodien who agreed to come to the club the same morning to meet with the Ajax CEO.
Although he was surprised that he got to know about his transfer through the media just before the CEO had called him, the CEO explained to him the circumstances relating to this and he accepted what had happened. He was very happy that the move to Orlando Pirates had materialised. He concluded all the formalities with Ajax Cape Town as required in the same meeting and the club then contacted Orlando Pirates to advise them to start their negotiations with him on his personal terms. Norodien did not have an agent at the time and was able to negotiate his way through the process ensuring that there were no unresolved issues.
All the while, Ajax, after numerous failed attempts to make contact with Mobara while on camp in Namibia with the national team, eventually made contact the same evening where the details of the proposed transfer were conveyed by the CEO to Mobara directly. After several telephonic discussions, Mobara informed the CEO that his potential move to Orlando Pirates was not his preferred destination but that Mamelodi Sundowns is where he wants to go. Perhaps this was the result of the constant tapping of the player by Mamelodi Sundowns which now influenced his thinking (we were also informed by Mobara that he had not spoken to Orlando Pirates which was contrary to the information which we received from Pirates).
It is with these facts, that one can then piece the puzzle of the current state of affairs of Mobaras’ potential move and all the negative media reports.
Previously, Mobara had been represented by Rob Moore directly. Currently, Mobara is represented by Lance Davids (who is employed by Rob Moore), who himself was managed during his playing career by Rob Moore. Lance Davids ended his playing career at Ajax Cape Town last season. Norodien was previously represented by Moore but the player ceased to use his services after his protracted court case against the club failed to deliver his release.
Ajax Cape Town regrets that media reports aimed to attack the CEO of the club personally and to defame his good standing within the football industry. It is also regretful that the malicious articles also attempt to portray the reputation of Ajax Cape Town Football Club as a club with no morals and principles.
However, the question still remains – Did Mobara really make these statements regarding Ajax Cape Town and the CEO without being coerced?
Even though he may have been recorded in doing so, who was the party that influenced his thinking?
Having known Mobara since the age of 9, and after ensuring that Ajax nurtured his talents in the Ajax Youth Academy, we sincerely believe that Mobara would in no way bad mouth the club that made him the player that he is today.
If indeed Mobara allowed these comments to be published knowingly, he will need to take a long hard look at himself and ensure that he firstly and most importantly ensure that he protects his own reputation before he makes a judgement on the reputation of the club that financed his football education.