Something fishy at the Green Machine

THERE is disharmony at Caps United as some players are questioning the way the club’s leadership handled the Champions League prize money.

The 2016 Zimbabwean champions reached the group stage of the 2017 Caf Champions League and pocketed $550 000 which came in two equal batches.

The Zimbabwe Football Association are entitled to a national association share of 5 percent which translates to $27 500.

Caps United received the last batch early last month but the players are yet to receive a single cent from the proceeds and some disgruntled senior players are contemplating dumping Makepekepe.

The club’s executive promised the players 30 percent, but a month after Caf disbursed the last tranche, nothing has been deposited into the players’ accounts.

Club president Farai Jere did not deny he owes the players but referred this publication to chief executive officer Cuthbert Chitima.

“The players shared 30 percent of the first batch of $270 000, which was about $84 000.

“Now for the last batch, they can only get 30 percent of $160 000 because some money was deducted by Zifa.

“We also didn’t know that Caf deducts some money for screened matches, so I think you can get the full details from Chitima.

“Even Zifa has all the detailed accounts of the money, “ said Jere.

Unfortunately, Chitima could not be reached for comment.

The issue has left cracks in the Green Machine with players accusing the executive of betrayal.

“The situation is tight, they (executive) have just kept quiet and we are getting more and more frustrated.

“We worked hard and they promised to reward us but now it seems we will get nothing for our sweat,” moaned one player.

Another senior player told The Sunday Mail he will not return to Makepekepe when the 2018 season                          starts.

“Imagine, we reach the Champions League mini-league stage and everyone expects that we have money but right now we have received nothing from this executive,” he said.

“We were expecting to enjoy our Christmas because we knew Caf had released the last batch but it was all bleak.

“We are also owed four months’ salary but we only got one and half month’s pay during the festive season.

“We no longer trust this executive, they always play hide and seek when it comes to money issues,” another player said.

Apart from the Caf prize money, Caps United also owe members of the technical team and players outstanding salaries.

This is despite the fact that the club smiled all the way to bank after doing wonders in the Champions League which also served as a marketing platform for their players.

The club also reaped huge rewards from the sales of Ronald Pfumbidzai, Abbas Amidu and Ronald Chitiyo, who moved to Bloemfontein Celtic, El Entag of Egypt and Sfaxien of Tunisia respectively.

Makepekepe are said to be battling to retain out of contract players in the wake of a massive exodus that has seen about seven key players leave since July last season.

Makepekepe are, however, set to benefit from a mega deal with NetOne in which they will get $350 000 from the mobile phone giant.

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