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Motsepe League prize to be R3m as Patrice admits clubs need support

24 June 2022 - 09:50 By Marc Strydom
Caf president and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe. File photo
Caf president and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe. File photo
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The third-tier ABC Motsepe League’s prize money will increase to R3m next season, sponsor Patrice Motsepe said, though he conceded more could also be done to support cash-strapped club owners at the level.

That means the Motsepe League first prize will be the same as the amount awarded to the winners of the second-tier GladAfrica Championship.

Motsepe attended the 2021-2022 Motsepe League final at Olen Park on Sunday where Gauteng’s MM Platinum beat Limpopo side Magesi FC 1-0 to lift the trophy and take the R1m prize money.

Magesi took home the R500,000 second prize. Both teams had already been promoted to the GladAfrica, also known as the National First Division (NFD), after winning their semifinals.

The large first and second prizes in the Motsepe League have raised eyebrows, given that wealth gets concentrated on two teams.

TimesLIVE spoke to Motsepe League club owners who say costs of running a club can vary, depending on a team’s ambitions, from about R50,000 to R100,000 annually.

Some teams aiming for promotion may spend closer to R200,000 as they recruit ex-Premiership players who require a semi-professional salary.

Motsepe League clubs receive an annual grant of R30,000 as a travel allowance — R15,000 in each round of the league.

Motsepe was asked if a more even distribution of funds to all third-tier teams could help that league’s club owners, most of whom are small businesspeople and not wealthy.

“What you’re saying is very important. Many of these people run these clubs with family money out of their own pockets,” the Mamelodi Sundowns owner and Confederation of African Football president responded.

“The people who are part of running football don’t get paid, there’s no money, there’s no resources for the [Safa] executive.

“And that’s part of what we have to do — try to help with the stipends and the allowances, because many of these people come from poor rural areas.

“But for us it’s also about the role of football in terms of job creation and improving the living conditions of our people, particularly the poor and unemployed.”

The amateur Motsepe League is the highest level of league football overseen by the SA Football Association (Safa), while the Premier Soccer League oversees the professional DStv Premiership and NFD.

Safa president Danny Jordaan confirmed the increase in Motsepe prize money.

“If you win the NFD you get R3m. And you don’t find such a situation anywhere in the world where a lower league has equal prize money of the league above it.

“And of course the Motsepe League is Safa’s highest competition and Safa is happy that these teams will now benefit from R3m in prize money.”

The financial constraints on Motsepe League and fourth-tier SAB League club owners mean those clubs mostly concentrate resources on their first team and most do not have youth sides and structures. This could conceivably go a long way to explaining the choke on young talent emerging from SA’s poorly resourced grassroots level.

Jordaan will contest the Safa presidency in Saturday’s elective congress at Sandton Convention Centre.

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