Keagan Dolly’s father Ramon has revealed in an interview with the SABC that the family never wanted the 23-year-old player to join Mamelodi Sundowns from Ajax Cape Town due to their previous experience during the midfielder’s youth days at the Tshwane club.
Dolly has been involved in a bitter contractual battle with the Brazilians, who have rejected several offers from Greek side Olympiakos and French outfit Montpellier.
According to Dolly’s father, the only reason they agreed for the midfielder to return to Chloorkop was because he was earning far less than he deserved at Ajax.
He also disputed Patrice Motsepe’s claims that he would allow Dolly to leave for free if the decision was entirely up to him, saying the Sundowns president personally requested for the increase in the buyout clause after the contract had been signed.
"When they were interested in Keagan‚ we as a family really didn’t want him to go back to Sundowns. Because we had struggled to get him out of Sundowns when he was a junior‚” Ramon Dolly told the SABC.
"But they [Sundowns] kept on pressing – ‘They want Keagan‚ they want Keagan’. And we sat down as a family and a company‚ and discussed what the good way was for Keagan - it was a buyout clause – that was the only way we would let Keagan go back to Sundowns. They didn’t want to put that in. Eventually they came around."
"My director‚ Paul Mitchell‚ was doing the negotiations with [Sundowns’ commercial and legal manager] Yogesh Singh, and before anything he would come back to me as the father‚ and say; ‘What should we do and how are we doing it?’. We came up with this figure of around €750 000, and they [Downs] agreed to it in principle. Mitchell flew to Cape Town with the contract‚ and Keagan signed it‚ and we all had to sign it."
"All of a sudden there was a phone call from [Downs president] Patrice [Motsepe]. He wanted the buyout clause to be €1.5-million, and it was a shock for us. Why now‚ after we agreed as professionals? What went wrong? Myself and Paul weren’t available‚ but we went around discussing and putting our heads together. Must we sign it?"
"And eventually for Keagan‚ from where he had been at Ajax‚ where that [his salary] was peanuts‚ let me be straight‚ playing for three years in the PSL – that was not good for him. He needed more." .
"And we decided that‚ OK‚ it’s good for him‚ let’s sign the contract, but in the contract – this‚ I know – the amount that was in this second contract of 2015 was the [same] amount that was in the first contract of 2014, and all of a sudden it’s a mistake. And I don’t know – honestly‚ how can you make a mistake like that?"
"I’m not a lawyer‚ but there were two lawyers involved. Yogesh Singh and another lady‚ who I believe was called Govender … They handled these contracts. Are you telling me they couldn’t pick up a mistake after 15 or 16 months?"
Ramon strongly believes that Sundowns never thought his son would be wanted by European clubs when they first agreed to the contract, and feels they are now shifting the goalposts to benefit from the potential deals.
"What I think is that they never thought a European club would come for Keagan. Then now they’re claiming it’s a mistake."
"They claim it was one mistake – it’s a whole new clause there. There’s a currency change‚ there’s a date in 2015’s contract‚ the amount has changed‚" Dolly Senior said.
"There are a lot of things – 10 or nine changes - different wording and changes. We accepted it. Like we had accepted the first contract signed in 2014. And now we accepted the one in 2015."
"And they [Sundowns] accepted it, because both lawyers signed – Yogesh Singh and Govender, and how can it be a mistake when there’s a whole different clause? Everything has changed – the whole lot," he added.