GladAfrica Championship side Jomo Cosmos owner Jomo Sono has explained how he is sometimes forced to part ways with some of his top players right in the middle of the season.
Ezenkosi are currently are third from the bottom in the second tier standings with only one win from eight games played, while only one point separates themselves with 16th - placed Royal Eagles.
To avoid losing players for free, over the years Jomo has been forced to sell top talent like Thabang Monare, Mxolisi Macuphu, Linda Mntambo, King Ndlovu and Cyril Chibwe to the top tier teams, something that has made it difficult for the club to win back its Absa Premiership status.
"We don't sell," Sono tells KickOff.com.
"We never sold the players to Chippa. If we were selling the players to Chippa I could sell now, I've got better players than those who went to Chippa now. The reason is that there's a contract rule in football. When the contract is about to expire six months, if you don't sell that player, he's gonna go for free so you have to choose whether you are a freedom company, or you become a businessman. If you keep him in January, in May he is free and there are Agents you must understand they need commissions.
"Telling the player 'I got a better deal there don't re - sign a new contract with Cosmos, don't sign! Leave it until it ends in June.' So you have to sell him. Sell him quickly, and then get money that will enable you to run your Academy, and promote again other players. It's not what I want to do, but if a player wants to go, sell him. If he doesn't want to sign a new contract get rid of him quick. Ja you are not gonna benefit anything, he's gonna go for free. And the person who is going to benefit it's the Agent that will take all his money and buy himself a Mercedes (Benz). You developing him all these years, only for someone to come out of nowhere speaking English and buy them Nike soccer boots. He's gonna take all the money while the team that developed the boy was the one supposed to benefit because, we have other kids who wants to be like the one who left. So I don't sell because I want to sell, No! I sell because of a reason. If you don't want to renew, what must I do? I can't keep you.
"I will give you one example of Anthony Laffor, he didn't want to renew. Why keep him? Sell him! Get rid of him and make money, ahambe! Aye la afuna ukuya khona (He must go to wherever he wants to), But at least you know you are covered. With Chippa it was the same situation, I had to sell the likes of Mntambo I had no option. Chippa was approaching them you know because he knew that their contracts were expiring in about six months. And I was pushed to the corner...so I had to release what can I do? But some players they left properly, 'They said Bra J what you've done for us nobody else would do it. You discovered us in the wilderness without teams. We were nobody and you made us somebody. You know the likes of Figo [ Linda Mntambo] they came and we spoke nice, Mxolisi...those were gentlemen for this team. Most of the players I have released, we still friends. Figo before he started getting game time again at Pirates we spoke, I said go and play your normal game. I was motivating him."