Kaizer Chiefs legend Donald “Ace” Khuse has revealed that when he was first signed to play professional football for Orlando Pirates in 1983 he earned R150 a month.
“I didn’t care about money. What I was interested in was to make people happy‚ and to try to do my best and perform in every game.” He says they were dedicated and wanted to make sure that we made the people happy whenever we were in the field of play. Khuse played in the old National Soccer League (NSL)‚ the precursor to what became the multi-million rand‚ and is now the multi-billion rand Premier Soccer League (PSL). Khuse‚ now involved in Chiefs’ development coaching structures‚ then disclosed the staggeringly minor salaries he was paid in the 1980s playing for Mamelodi Sundowns and then Chiefs into the early 1990s.
Comparing today’s players from those of his time‚ Khuse said: “I had so much to prove to people that I knew the game‚ and I loved the game so much that I didn’t care about how much I was earning. “I could tell you‚ ‘I was earning so much‚ but you wouldn’t believe it.” Khuse said When he came in at Pirates [it was] R150. After a year they gave him R250. Until he left Pirates; still earning that amount.
“I went to Sundowns‚ I got R600. And after Sundowns I came to Kaizer Chiefs – I got R1500. And that was how much I was earning then. He would have earned a decent retirement package at the tail end of his playing career turning out for Genclerbirligi and Antalyaspor in Turkey from 1993 until 1997.