John Comitis: Why PSL free agents are not being signed


A prominent PSL club chairman has explained why so many players who were once stars at the likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns are not being signed.

The new PSL season is well underway and clubs are slowly closing their cheque books as their squads start to take shape, but there are still several high-profile names that remain clubless due to unknown reasons.

The likes of Tefu Mashamaite, Mandla Masango and Tlou Segolela to name just a few remain unemployed as no team is currently willing to take them on.

Sifiso Myeni, Khethokwakhe Masuku and Felipe Ovono were recently turned away by newly promoted Pretoria Callies, who will compete in the GladAfrica Championship this season.

Cape Town City chairman John Comitis says there are a few things that might be the reason such players' talents are getting wasted.

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Speaking generally, Comitis says sometimes players should understand that they are no longer at their peak and should reduce their demands.

"There's got to be only two things, it's either that their salary demands are very high or perhaps age is not on their side," Comitis tells

"And unfortunately now clubs have realised that sustaining big squads with big salaries is very, very difficult under these economic conditions... and the clubs are not going to invest in players they are not going to get return on.

"Twenty minutes here, twenty there you know. I'm going to say anything particular about any particular player because I'm not talking about any individual, I'm just talking generally.

"We'll always have older players in our club [City]. At least there'll be two because it's a good balancing act for the younger players, and they bring a certain amount of maturity to the club. But we'll also have to balance that against the number that goes with that you know, the salary number."

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Comitis explains further: "You know every year I've taken a few older players on, and it serves us well. And we will carry on doing that. But you know we can't take them in abundance because it's always at a high risk.

"Look, age means that they are going to play less. Whatever you're paying, it's costing you double because they are playing half games. Okay unless they're still very healthy and well, then they can compete. Then they are like any other player.

"But usually 31, 32, 33, 34 it starts being a problem. As a club you carry players like that because you need them in your squad. Sometimes even if they are not playing, they are forming an important role. But you can't have too many of them. They can also become a disruptive force in the team. So the idea is to keep that balance."

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The experienced football administrator, who is also a former player himself, also left words of advise for such players.

"The first step is to go to the new clubs that have just come in, because they always need experienced players, but they've got to compromise on their numbers you know," Comitis adds.

"And what happens is they are not prepared to do it, so it takes them long before they make that final decision. And by that time all the spaces are taken up. So they come back to you and they want R120 000, R150 000 a month. And then they come back to you when you have already filled your spots, now it's too late.

"So that's really what it is about, they have to be smart and realise that they are not in the same situation as they were when they commanded the starting line-up at the top clubs.

"They must ask for a salary that is reasonable for the club that they are trying to join. You know each club has a different capacity, and we need to respect that."

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