Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
20 Jul 2021
7:18 pm

Why Maritzburg United let go of their best players like Kutumela

Ntokozo Gumede

“We are a club that is not sponsored and we have to sell players to maintain and meet our financial commitment," said team manager Quintin Jetto.

Maritzburg United captain Thabiso Kutumela was sold to Mamelodi Sundowns. (Shaun Roy/BackpagePix)

Usually, teams would fight tooth and nail to hold on to their best players but that is not the case with Maritzburg United, who lean on the contrary as they always look forward to selling their finest talents.

ALSO READ: ‘Not for sale’: Maritzburg United respond to club sale talks

The recent sale of Thabiso Kutumela to Mamelodi Sundowns, Kwanda Mngonyama and Bandile Shandu to Orlando Pirates goes down as good business for the Team of Choice. According to team manager Quintin Jetto, the club would slump into debt and possibly face the reality of selling the franchise.

Speaking to Inanda FM, Jetto said while the trio had been the best players for the team in the previous season where Maritzburg finished 13th in the DStv Premiership, they had to let them go in order to balance their books.   

“We are a club that is not sponsored and we have to sell players to maintain and meet our financial commitment. It has been like that over the years, it is not new. This will be my 15th season at Maritzburg and season on season we always trade and selling players has allowed us to be financially stable and meet all the commitments of all the players who are in the squad,” said Jetto.  

“Unfortunately, until we get a sponsor, we have to ensure that we trade wisely and we make sure that we have one or two very good performing players who will do well and attract attention from the bigger clubs and be able to get out the best deal possible so we can have some stability,” he added.

Kutumela joined Sundowns on a five-year deal at the back of his best season since going professional as he netted 12 goals in the league and earned himself nominations for the Premier Soccer League Footballer of the Season and Players’ Player awards.  

“He played a really huge role last season and allowed us to be competitive and stay in the league. When we got him it was January 2019 and the two and a half seasons he spent with us he gave us everything we could have asked for and a bit more,” Jetto said.  

On Shandu’s close to a decade stay at Maritzburg United:  “Bandile was with us as a ball boy and he signed his first contract at 16 years and he has given us really good service and we appreciate it. But it was time, sometimes you can’t be at one club for eight or nine years, you have to look at other ventures. He explained to us that he had a good opportunity and he wanted to take that opportunity. We were fine with it, we are a club that does not stand in the way of players if it is going to progress their careers.”