'Ask the money man': Tensions simmer as Benni takes on club chairman

19 September 2019 - 06:23 By Mark Gleeson
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has again butted heads with club chairman John Comitis over the signing of new players.
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has again butted heads with club chairman John Comitis over the signing of new players.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Benni McCarthy’s irritation with his club’s signing policy spilled over again on Wednesday as the question of a possible contract with Mark Mayambela, who is still training with the club, persisted.

The Cape Town City coach, who had some terse words for his chairman John Comitis several weeks ago on television when he was trying to entice Robyn Johannes back to the club, is obviously peeved over the failure to offer the 32-year-old Mayambela a deal.

“I’m a big fan of the player - I know him as a teammate, but not only because of that, but because I know the qualities that he possesses,” McCarthy said of Mayambela, who he played with at Orlando Pirates.

“I saw an article yesterday [Tuesday] that says the chairman has made up his mind, so there is not much my empty words can do,” he added.

McCarthy was reacting to a story in which Comitis was quoted as saying he had no plans to sign Mayambela, who was released by Chippa United at the end of last season and has been training at City for the last week and a half.

“The chairman is the one - it’s his club, it’s his money, so he makes the decisions. I’m just here to coach the team. If I get him [Mayambela], I get him, but it’s out of my hands. Ask the money man. I’m just here to try and make the players better," said McCarthy.

"If you ask me, I’d take him - in a heartbeat. But unfortunately the club has a policy, so I oblige to the policy of the club. The chairman is the one at the end of the day who makes the final decision.”

Last month, when City were facing a crisis at centre-back and Robyn Johannes was set to leave Bidvest Wits, McCarthy made a public plea for him - but this was quickly quashed by Comitis.

The coach used both his post-match television interview and the press conference after losing at home to Kaizer Chiefs to highlight his desire to sign the defender.

“It’s not rocket science for people to see. You can get away with it sometimes, but when you have a real test, you come up short when your full-back is playing centre-back,” McCarthy said at the time.

But Comitis did not budge - evidently still sour that Johannes had left City two seasons earlier to move to Johannesburg for a better deal. Johannes has since signed for Stellenbosch.