Centre Chiefs hit rock bottom as players boycott training for third week
The royal house in Mochudi is crumbling.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs are a team in serious, potentially fatal financial turmoil.
Players have reportedly not been paid since January and are now boycotting training in protest.
It is a sad predicament for a club of Magosi’s rich pedigree, whose proud history includes winning three of the last five league championships.
Unsurprisingly, the cash-strapped Kgatleng giant’s money woes have taken their toll on the club’s on-field performances.
Chiefs currently lie 8th in the league, a massive 17 points below their bitter rivals Township Rollers, who are sitting pretty at the top.
To add to their mounting misery, Magosi now face a possible revolt from players who have decided to boycott training until the club pays them two months worth of wages.
With another ten games left to complete their 2016/17 season, the no pay no play stance by the players threatens to cripple this once admirable brand.
In a statement currently circulating on social media, the players have vowed they will only return to training after their outstanding two month wages have been settled.
The fed-up footballers gave the club an ultimatum three weeks ago but according to the players there has been no response from management.
Players continue to vent out on different social media platforms.
They are particularly unhappy that there has been silence from management since they boycotted training.
The team is scheduled to play ninth-placed Gaborone United on Sunday – a game that would normally be hyped up as a tussle between titans.
However, there is real uncertainty over whether Chiefs will honour the match or even assemble a competitive side.
Whilst Chiefs’ reported financial crisis will come as a shock to most sports lovers, close observers believe the warning signs have always been there.
The departure of speedy winger Lemponye Tshireletso and striker Mara Moloi to join rivals Rollers and Tendai Nyumasi’s move to Orapa United were early indications of an imminent implosion.
Since leaving the Kgatleng giants, both Moloi and Tshireletso have won the league with Rollers while Nyumasi has a Mascom Top 8 gold medal.
The club’s Vice Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi made little effort to hide his frustration at the way things have deteriorated since his team last lifted the league trophy in 2015.
Mogomotsi, a usually bubbly and outspoken administrator who is credited with selling the Chiefs brand to the entire nation, sounded dejected when Voice Sports contacted him on Wednesday evening.
“Look here, this is an issue of money. Players are demanding wages but we simply can’t afford to pay them. We don’t have money,” he said forlornly.
Mogomotsi attributed his club’s struggles to the fact that they do not have a sponsor. He believes all the stakeholders who are supposed to provide leadership should shoulder the blame for the crisis.
“We are in a bad space at the moment but we are hopeful that this impasse will be resolved.
“We have a match against GU and we’ll definitely have a team ready to compete. We’ll find a way to make this work,” said the ever-optimistic Mogomotsi, regaining some of his characteristic gusto.
The former Magosi Public Relations Officer admitted to Voice Sport that the situation cannot be left to get any worse as this could hurt the club in the long run.
“This issue is top of our agenda and we are still looking at ways to remedy the situation.
“However, the simple truth is there is no money,” repeated Mogomotsi glumly.
Broke but not yet broken, four-time league champions Chiefs are in danger of falling into obscurity and becoming another ‘has-been’ of Botswana football – that’s how real the crisis is!