Nange and Munyai have penned pre-contracts with Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park respectively, but this has seen both players being sidelined by the club as Leopards feel these men could have been open and straightforward about their intentions to move on with their careers.
This has raised some questions on how clubs treat players who are looking out for their futures by signing pre-contracts with other teams.
The Englisman sent a statement to KickOff.com to give his side of the story on the matter. It reads as follows:
“I treat everyone equally, giving them the responsibility to show me that they want to play in my team. Football clubs have a loyalty to the fans and the chairman to do the best that they can, and players have a responsibility to perform to his or her best whatever issues arise or the circumstances that proceed them.
“Honesty and transparency are important to me, and in the present day whilst I don’t condemn anyone for wanting a better life or career, it has to be done the right way. I have 30 players all wanting to play, and my philosophy is that I keep the same winning team unless injury or suspension determine my selection. Also, it’s my selection not anyone else, so for those who come into the team, the challenge I give to them is to stay in the team on their performances even if the result goes against you.
“The best teams in the world don’t chop and change on a result, because you can lose even though you are the better team as in our game against Bloemfontein Celtic.
“The issue of Munyai and Nange is this… Nange knows he has to be patient because my midfielders’ performances have been good, and I’ve been honest with him and he understands that, as a good player, he has to bide his time.
“It’s nothing to do with him signing for Wits or anything personal. Marks is the same. He’s always in my plans but I saw in training that he wasn’t the same player that I’ve seen in the time that I’ve been here.
“In football, everyone knows everyone and there’s no secrets and no matter what, you find things out because that’s my job to do so. My chairman’s passion for his team, especially his players who he has developed and shown amazing loyalty to in good and bad times, means that he needs to chat with Munyai on his current position of loyalty, because his agent was demanding his release now.
“That’s not fair on the players at the club. It’s my job to pick my team to keep everyone on a level playing field, and also to pick the right players. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. The chairman, players, myself and my technical team are not bigger than the club, or its supporters, and collectively we are trying to build something big – a sustainable, vibrant, enjoyable club, and to do that we have to do it together.
“Contrary to recent reports with comments attributed to me, I did not say any player who had signed a pre-contract would not play again for Black Leopards, and as a football club we like to think that we treat every individual on his merits, performance and commitment to the cause.”