The recent mishandling of the Julius Situmbeko signing further highlighted a major weakness in the management of contracts at Gor Mahia. The club gave Julius Situmbeko a significant amount of money despite the fact that they had not actually secured his services. Secretary George Bwana recently announced that Situmbeko had lied to the club and pocketed the signing bonus.
This has happened before
The most unfortunate thing about this is that the same exact scenario played out in mid 2013: After Gor Mahia tried in vain to secure the services of midfielder Peter Opiyo, secretary general George Bwana announced that Peter Opiyo had duped the club, taken the signing bonus and joined AFC Leopards. It is difficult to understand how the club could have made the same mistake twice.
A player should never be given a signing bonus until he has officially joined the club. At best he should be given a promisory note that legally binds the club to give the player the signing bonus when he joins. In addition, should the player leave before the contract is over, he should be required to refund the signing bonus. This way the club is protected.
Lack of investigation
The Giovanni Rodriguez saga of 2013, while mildly entertaining, exposed weakenesses in how the club is run. Virtually nothing was known about the player. The club simply took the word of the agent who was shopping the player around. A basic investigation would have revealed that the youtube video posted of the player was likely not Giovanni Rodriguez. The person in the video has dark black hair and is likely Japanese whereas Rodriguez has brownish hair. The video itself was grainy and it impossible to make out the facial features of any of the players. That alone should raise the suspicions of club officials.
This lack of investigation also played out in the Julius Situmbeko saga as Gor Mahia did not investigate whether or not he was truly a free agent or whether he had a valid contract with Power Dynamos.
Leaking of stories to the media
Gor Mahia officials appear far too eager to leak stories about who is being signed and who is on the club’s radar. A better approach would be to remain silent until the deal is either completed or falls through.
The whole saga with the Zambian player may have been avoided and resolved more amicably had the club not publicly announced that they were pursuing him.
Do not let contracts lapse
The contracts of key players should never be allowed to lapse because it enables other teams to pick them up for free. When a player is approaching the end of his contract, the club should initiate procedures to extend the contract. This way if the player leaves, the club can earn a transfer fee. This way , a player like Mosoti would have been sold to Simba for a fee instead of a free transfer.