Union gets Mamelodi Sundowns to pay Khama Billiat
Safpu intervenes to ensure that Khama’s R1-million signing-on fee at Downs is paid
It took the intervention of the South African Football Players' Union (Safpu) for Mamelodi Sundowns star Khama Billiat to get the club to pay his R1-million signing-on fee.
The money was only paid into the player's account after newly elected Safpu president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe called the 2016 Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League champions to enquire about the outstanding payment.
A source informed the Sunday Times that "Billiat was supposed to get his money on or before August 31, but that did not happen".
When the player enquired about the non-payment "someone at the club told him that they thought he was going to leave and was not put on the payroll".Billiat, the Premier Soccer League player, players' player and midfielder of the season for 2016, is in a battle to improve his salary at the Brazilians.
The 27-year-old switched from Ajax Cape Town to Sundowns for about R9-million in 2013 and he currently earns R160,000 gross and takes home R90,000.
Last week Sundowns tabled a deal of R200,000 gross which will shoot his net pay to R135,000.
But his representatives were not moved as they want R200,000 net.
"We are still negotiating right now. What has thrown Sundowns off a bit is that Billiat's representatives are interested in improving the player's net and what is going to get into his account at the end of the month.
"The net salary of the player, the amount he is taking home to feed his family, is what matters," said the sourceBilliat has won everything that is there to win in South African football bar the MTN8 trophy.
"At the moment the player is just focusing on training and helping the team to retain the Champions League," said Billiat's business manager Siyabulela Loyilane, the brand manager of Shumba Football Development.
"When the time is right we will relook at the negotiations and everything.
"We don't want this to be a disruption and take his attention away from focusing on delivering on the field of play.
"Credit must be given to [Sundowns head coach] Pitso Mosimane and his technical team for how they have helped the player to develop and further realise his potential."
Under Caf coach of the year Mosimane's tutelage, Billiat, a Zimbabwean international, has blossomed to the point of attracting suitors in France and Saudi Arabia. Talk of a club in Turkey has also emerged.
"Anyone who has made an inquiry we've referred them to the club," said Loyilane.
"There's even a guy who called from Turkey and expressed interest but we informed him to send an official letter of interest to the club."
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