Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE giants CAPS United insist the situation in their camp is under control following a threat by players to boycott their pre-season training over unpaid dues. CAPS United vice-president Nhamo Tutisani visited the team at their training ground at Mt Pleasant School where he addressed the players after a second day of rising tensions.
The Green Machine players refused to disembark from their team bus, demanding their January dues before taking to their routine drills.
“I cannot say we have reached that stage where we can say the players have downed tools,’’ said Tutisani.
“There is no industrial action. Of course, these guys have raised some issues, which could be quite understandable because of the current economic situation in the country, but we have since resolved everything.
“In fact, it’s something that we have been seized with all along and I am failing grasp the excitement among the players.
“Maybe, the guys wanted to put pressure and try to push things, but there is always a proper way of putting your message across.
“We are doing everything and we visited them at training to address some of the issues. We also have got the right to educate the youngsters that if they have issues, there are always professional channels to follow.’’
NetOne sponsored the club to the tune of $350 000 last season.
The mobile network giants committed themselves to pay salaries of all the players and officials. They also made a provision of signing-on fees for new players under the deal. The company, which also sponsored Highlanders and Dynamos, this week refused to comment on the renewal of the contracts. However, it is understood that negotiations are at an advanced stage with the Green Machine and Highlanders.
The return from suspension of NetOne chief executive Lazarus Muchenje, the catalyst of the sponsorship deals which have also seen the company sponsor Chapungu and Black Rhinos, is seen as a positive move by the clubs. CAPS United are keen to compete for the title this year and have signed a number of players, including the former Highlanders duo of Gabriel Nyoni and Newman Sianchali. Their coach Lloyd Chitembwe also took on board promising youngsters — Clive Rupiya, Blessing Sarupinda and Pride Zivengwa — while pacy winger Phineas Bhamusi and Ronald Chitiyo are also returning this season.
The 2016 champions have managed to retain the core of their squad — Valentine Musarurwa, Joel Ngodzo, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Justice Jangano, John Zhuwawu and Dominic Mukandi.
The side have put in place a board that will run the operations of the club on behalf of the shareholders.
Lawyer Misheck Hogwe, renowned sports administrator Titus Zvomuya, Nick Munyonga, Sylvester Maunganidze, Farai Mafunga and Tich Mawoni, a sports marketing expert who was instrumental in the bringing of the Barcelona Legends to Harare last year, are part of the board.
“We have a board in place, but we are still to have an induction. The board is coming in with a commercial thrust to assist the corporate CEO in terms of goal setting, strategic planning, instituting accounting and marketing policies to find ways to be profitable and make sure that we become a highly professional club,” said Tutisani.
The board is also expected to identify the candidate to fill the position of chief executive that was left vacant following the resignation of Cuthbert Chitima recently.