As he heads off to England to see his family, coach Steve Polack is asking the club management to find ways to settle arrears owed to players in order to stem a mass exodus of players.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack wants the club to clear all salary arrears owed to the playing unit before the the new season kicks off.
Penniless Gor Mahia now begging fans for cash bail out through Bonga Points
The 58-year-old Briton decried the mass exodus of key players from his squad, urging the K’Ogalo management to act and pay players as he intended to improve the club’s fortunes in continental competitions.
“I will be heading home in the next 10 days because I have not seen my family for a long time. Players are currently leaving Gor Mahia and all I have to do before leaving is to ensure myself and my staff are paid all their dues. I have also to know the management plans on new signings,” Polack told Nairobi News.
The 18-time Kenyan Premier League champions have been in financial turmoil and owe the coach, players and members of the technical bench salaries not paid for the past six months.
Gor Mahia, who have missed on the KPL title only once in the past eight years, have a huge wage bill of Sh5.5 million per month but the club management has in the past said it intends to reduce the figure to Sh3 million to enable it smoothly run its affairs next season.
However, Polack assured Gor Mahia fans that he would come back to Kenya to continue coaching the team as he can’t run a way if all issues pertaining to payment have not been resolved.
“ It will be painful for me to come back then we experience the same go slows and off pitch issues we have had in the past. That is why this has to be sorted,” he added.
The financial constraint at Gor Mahia is causing jitters among fans who blame the management for sleeping on the job as key players join rival teams.
Some of the notable players who have left are assistant captain Joash Onyango, who a few days ago joined Tanzanian giants Simba SC.
Lethal striker Boniface Omondi joined Wazito while custodian David Mapigano and his Tanzania counterpart Dickson Ambudo have joined Azam and Dododoma Jiji FC respectively.
Ugandan import Juma Balinya and Captain Kenneth Muguna are negotiating with Azam and Petro de Luanda of Angola while Ghananian midfielder Jackson Owusu, whose contract has expired, is also unsure of his future at K’Ogalo. Gor also released goalkeeper Fredrick Odhiambo, who is on the verge of signing for Wazito.
The popular club two months ago signed a Sh55 million per season sponsorship deal with gaming firm Betsafe. However, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier recently stated that the club will start receiving the money once the new season kicks-off
Butambuze unsure of next move
Gor Mahia fullback Shafiq Butambuze, who has been out on injury list for almost a year, says the club has not spoken to him about his status
Additional reporting from goal.com
Uganda international defender Shafik Batambuze might be on his way out of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Gor Mahia.
K’Ogalo have seen several top players leave the team in the current transfer window; Boniface Omondi has joined Wazito FC while Joash Onyango has sealed a deal with Tanzania Mainland League champions Simba SC. Captain Kenneth Muguna is also reportedly on his way out with Angolan top-tier side Petro Atletico favourites to sign him.
Goalkeeper David Mapigano has also joined Azam FC while his counterpart Dickson Ambundo has completed a move to Dodoma Jiji FC.
“Gor Mahia have not yet talked to me,” Batambuze told Goal from his native Uganda on Sunday when he was asked about his status with the Kenyan side.
“Well, I am still under contract until November, and I cannot tell what the future holds. But no one has spoken to me over a contract extension. So, all I have to do is continue concentrating on the current deal. I cannot guarantee whether I will be in the KPL or somewhere else.
“Only God knows.”
In an earlier interview, Gor Mahia head coach explained why he has no power to stop players from leaving.
“What do you want me to do?” the tactician posed a question to Goal when asked about the mass exodus at the club.
“It is beyond me, the situation at this club is beyond me, I can do nothing, I don’t have anything to say, the players are looking after money, we play football to get money but it is not the case here, so how can you ask the players to stay?
“I will be a very bad coach if I try to convince the players to stay, they have families to take care of, they have bills to pay, they have other things to do with their money, so why stay in the club where you don’t get the money?
“It is a very bad situation now, some players are owed up to five months’ salaries, and this is not good at all, others have used the Fifa clause to demand for the exit, it means I have nothing to do, I cannot do anything to have them stay if they have decided to go, I wish them well.
“It happens in the other parts of the world not only at Gor Mahia, players leaving [though not because of finances], it happens even at Real Madrid, even at Barcelona but now the most important thing is how do we respond to the exodus, how do we fill the voids? That is the question for the management to answer.
“I have my targets ready but we can only negotiate with them when we have money to buy, I don’t want to negotiate with a player without money on the table, the club should show me the money and I will talk to my targets and bring them on board.”