New salary reveal supports Mngomeni

Premiership

Several ex-PSL stars have come out and revealed their previous salaries to KickOff.com, and the latest appears to support claims from those who say they were underpaid at the big PSL clubs.

PSL football was vastly different back in the 1990s as professional football had very few sponsors to justify paying players big salaries, and many were paid a few hundred to a few thousand per month throughout that decade.

Nevertheless, former players at the likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and even Mamelodi Sundowns talk openly today about the unfair salary scales of yesteryear.

Ex-Amakhosi defender Jacob Tshisevhe and ex-Pirates midfielder Thabo Mngomeni are two recent examples who claim they were underpaid throughout their careers.

READ: Tshisevhe: Chiefs paid me R1 200

READ: Thibos: I was paid peanuts

Tshisevhe claims he earned R1 200 right up until 1997 before he had to leave Chiefs while Mngomeni, who was a Bafana Bafana international star, says his highest salary at Pirates was R13 000 in 1999 and that bench-warmers at Bucs got double what he was earning.

For some further perspective, another ex-Chiefs defender Rodney Thobejane says he was earning R500 per month at Ria Stars in 1997, further proving that it all depended on who you were and who you played for. Thobejane later went on to earn R12 000 to R18 000 at Chiefs in the early 2000s.

While the status of these respective players and many other factors would have determined their salaries at the time, and perhaps justified the huge differences, a new revelation paints their issues in a new light.

Former Chiefs striker Shane McGregor now says that around the same time in the late '90s – when he was in the twilight of his career at 33 – he was earning almost R40 000 a month at SuperSport United.

"You know it was difficult, we were not earning the money that players are earning today," McGregor tells KickOff.com.

"They are earning huge monies today these players and most of them can't even play, but that's besides the point. Ja it was difficult, that's why we had to work two jobs.

"I was married, I had kids and you know I bought a house, I bought a car with all that. My house is paid for because of the soccer, and the cars because of the soccer. So ja it did help.

"At SuperSport the league was fully professional and I was earning between R35 000 and R40 000 a month. Nowadays this is what the youngsters earn you know. It was around '97."

Check out the most valuable stars in the PSL right now, according to world football database transfermarkt.com

The late Terry Paine brought McGregor to SuperSport when the club changed its name from Pretoria City, but before that he made his name at Grinaker Rangers between 1984 and 1987.

From there he joined Chiefs, and the 56-year-old recalls how he almost never made the move as he thought it was a prank that Amakhosi were interested in his services back in the late '80s.

"The strange story is I had agreed terms to play for Swallows. I had a meeting with Swallows in Joburg on a Sunday evening and obviously agreed that I was going to join them," he says.

"On the Monday... and I'm not going to mention names, a certain gentleman who was a public relations officer of the League phoned me and said Kaizer Chiefs were interested, 'Would you be interested in speaking to them?'

READ: Pollen reveals Chiefs minimum wage

"Initially I thought it was one of my friends who was just pranking me and I basically put the phone down. The gentleman called again to say the same thing, I put the phone down.

"And when he phoned the third time he said, 'Just take this number down and try to speak to them.' And when I phoned it was Chiefs. So I went to them and we agreed terms."

McGregor is currently unemployed after going through two divorces.

"Well, I was working for Phumelele [betting company] until March. I was doing the soccer stuff. But since March that's closed and everything is gone because of Covid," he says.

"The company basically they are going to be closed soon so we were basically all put off. We were told you know, no work no pay. I haven't been paid a salary since March.

"But I've been working on things that might come off in the next week or two. I'm still in Joburg North."

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