18 December 2012

Kenya: Trouble At MUFC?

Former Kenya Premier league champions Mathare United face a player revolt allegedly over contractual disputes.

So serious has been the fallout between the club and the players that some of the players have apparently taken a step towards the exit door but are pegged back by contractual details according to goalkeeper Martin Musalia.

"We are at the end of our tether. Our problems with the management are serious. Some influential players are contemplating leaving the club," Musalia charged.

The international goalkeeper claims he is owed close to Sh200,000 in salary and bonus arrears and the club officials have allegedly not made it clear how they expect to meet the balance.

"The only option for me and some of my colleagues is to leave. But this has been made difficult by our contractual obligations." The keeper, part of the national team who finished as runners up in the Cecafa sSenior Challenge Cup ten days ago, revealed that teammates Lloyd Wahome and last season's top club scorer Andrew Tololwa have made it clear they want out but they were facing frustrations.

According to Musalia, who has been contacted by AFC Leopards' over a possible switch of allegiance, his contract with the 2008 Kenya Premier League champions is due to end on January 31, the same day the transfer window closes.

"It was not an accident that the date was inserted as it is. It is obviously meant to frustrate our bid to sever terms with the club. But whichever way, we want an assurance on how the club intend o keep us happy because football is our only source of income," he said.

The threat by senior players to bolt will severely affect Mathare who had been on a downward trend close to two years until young coach Stanley Okumbi stepped in to stem what looked like free-fall towards relegation.

Okumbi himself has in the past admitted due to financial constraints he will stick to signing young up and coming players to try and keep the club competitive in the league next season.

In the past similar problems have propelled high profile players like Titus Mulama, Edgar Ochieng, Kevin Ochieng, Joseph Nyaga, Osborne Monday, Anthony "Gullit" Khadudu out of the club.

Attempts to reach club chairman Bob Munro yesterday to respond to these complaints were futile as his phone and follow up messages went unanswered.

Last year the club signed two sponsorships deals worth Sh15 million with Real Insurance(Sh5m) and G4S (Sh10m). Mathare finished eighth last season.

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