The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Caps United Fire Seven Players

HARARE Premiership soccer giants CAPS United have fired seven senior players in a massive shake-up as they restructure their side ahead of the new season. CAPS United are struggling to secure financial partners after one of their chief financiers Farai Jere, who was also a club director, pulled out at the end of last season, leaving the current leadership burdened by the financial demands of the club.

On Tuesday, some players staged a brief industrial action at the team's training session in protest over their outstanding salaries.

The club's leadership later addressed the players over their grievances but some of the players have been booted out of the Green Machine camp with immediate effect.

Yesterday, goalkeeper Itayi Chiwara, striker Shingi Kawondera, Nqobile Mpala, skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani and Washington Pakamisa were transfer-listed from the club.

"CAPS United hereby advise you of your transfer-listing from the club. We sadly note that we do not share the same values, ethos and vision that we believe will take the club to greater heights.

"The situation is exacerbated by the present financial situation. It is our opinion that you will be able to function better as a football player in an environment and club of your choice.

"We hereby authorise you to solicit for employment at a football club of your choice. You are further advised to cease training with the first team with immediate effect.

"Thank you for all your previous services rendered to CAPS United," read part of the letter to the players, signed by chief executive Joe Makuvire.

Asani Nhongo and Luckson Kaisa have also been shown the exit door.

Nhongo's contract has expired and will not be renewed while Kaisa has not been reporting for training amid reports that he is back at Black Mambas.

Makuvire said the move to release the players was part of a cost-cutting measure since CAPS United was unable to meet the players' demands.

"This is part and parcel of the restructuring exercise. We also want to instil discipline in the whole team while we re-address the issue of players' contracts.

"Some of the players had contracts that the club can no longer sustain.

"So we are now trying to have a manageable payroll," said Makuvire.

He confirmed that the seven players have already been served with their letters of dismissal.

"It means the players are free to look for clubs of their choices while as a club we are trying to work on sustainability.

"There is need to establish the sustainable model at the club and we believe we should get the best value from our employees," said Makuvire.

Makuvire hinted that some of the players were paid handsomely while they failed to steer the team to expected heights last season.

"We had average players who produced mediocre performances but they had exaggerated financial expectations. Some of the players were a burden to the club because of their financial demands yet the club produced poor results.

"So the restructuring will continue because we want the club to approve contracts that it can sustain," said Makuvire.

Makuvire believes CAPS United will be able to fuse some of the senior players and the new recruits to come up with a formidable outfit this season.

"We are still building up our squad through our vision of developing the juniors," said Makuvire.

One of the affected players, Chiwara, was still trying to come to terms with the latest developments.

Chiwara, who had served CAPS United for a long time, feels they were sacrificed after they asked for their dues.

"I am still surprised that the club has decided to dump us.

"I think it's all because we had asked for our money this week and now we get these letters, terminating our employment.

"The other players who also asked for their money have been served with warnings," said Chiwara.

While disappointed with the latest developments, Chiwara is hopeful of finding a new club before the start of the season.

"Some of us have families to look after and football is our source of livelihood.

"So it was normal to ask for our money but now we find ourselves unemployed.

"But I hope to find a new club soon because I had been receiving offers while I still had a contract with CAPS United," said Chiwara.

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