Transfer fees: The 'new' norm in SA
World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi soft-pedalled the question when confronted with the query of his transfer fee during his formal media briefing – after being unveiled as a new Sharks signing.
It was first reported in the Cape Town media that the Western Province wanted a ZAR1-million transfer fee from the Sharks for Kolisi.
The Sharks, to the bitter end, denied they ever paid a cent.
Kolisi, to his credit, admitted there was indeed a ‘transfer fee’ involved, but said he personally took care of it – without confirming who put up the cash or revealed the actual amount.
“They [Western Province] offered me something [a new deal] and I said: ‘No, I won’t accept’,” the 29-year-old told the media briefing.
He added that he asked for an ‘early release’ from his contract, which was set to run till October.
“Obviously there was a transfer fee and that is something I had to take care of myself.”
Some facts are clear:
1. He asked for an early release.
2. There was a transfer fee.
3. The transfer fee was paid.
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However, the stumper is: Did Kolisi pay it out of his own pocket or was it provided for by one of his benefactors – which include his commercial agency Roc Nation and MVM Holdings partner Vincent Mai, the man who put up the bursary that allowed the Bok skipper to him to attend prestigious Grey High in Port Elizabeth?
The answer to that poser we may never know.
However, there are some facts @rugby365com was able to unearth about the much-hyped transfer fee saga.
The transfer fee that was present in Kolisi’s contract is standard in all contracts – at least those of the Stormers/WP players.
These contracts require the player to pay. The reason for this clause is because the union/franchise can’t sign a contract with a potential future employer of the player – hence it is scripted so that the player is responsible (Kolisi: ‘That is something I had to take care of myself.’)
While, in reality, the new union often puts up the cash, in this case, the Sharks did not.
Those contracts ensure that the union/franchise is entitled to 15 percent of the player’s annual salary as a transfer fee.
* How about this for a provocative datum. If we accept that the reports of the amount of Kolisi’s transfer fee (ZAR1-million or thereabouts) are accurate, it would not be difficult to work out his annual salary (if that is important).
For what it’s worth. This also means other WP/Stormers players that were released early from their contracts would all have been required to pay transfer fees.
It is NOT new. It is the norm.