The Sunday Mail
WALTER MAGAYA is one person you will not understand, especially when it comes to his passion for football and his “love” for his Premiership side Yadah Stars, which has been off the market since gaining promotion two seasons ago.
The “football-mad” Magaya has put his club on sale once again, in a shocking somersault move that comes just three months after he announced his intentions to take a hands-on approach to club issues “and fulfil his dream of winning silverware.”
A cloud of uncertainty hovers over Yadah Stars and it appears their unheralded gaffer Genesis Mangombe is having a tough time psyching up his winless boys.
Today his boys’ Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match will be against Herentals at Rufaro.
Yadah FC lost to Hwange and Chicken Inn by an identical score line of 0-2 in their opening two matches, and of their players, who refused to be named, said it was difficult operating in an environment of insecurity.
“One day you hear the club is up for sale, the next day you hear it’s off the market and then all of a sudden you hear the team is up for sale again.
“It kind of affects the players because you cannot play properly when you are not sure about the future of the club,” said the player.
Strangely, Magaya was full of energy last Thursday, barking instructions from the touchline when Yadah played Cranborne Bullets at the Yadah Complex.
He was even joking about grabbing some players from the Division One side during the mid-season.
Whether Magaya will still be interested in the club by then is a stuff for prophets as the Yadah owner has a knack of making consistent U-turns with regard to the future of his team.
Magaya dropped a bombshell on June 1 2018 when he withdrew his funding of Yadah Stars, following what he claimed was a fallout with the PSL leadership over the way his club had been crippled by the absence of three players — Jimmy Dzingai, Leeroy Mavhunga and Byron Madzokere — who were on national duty with the Warriors.
The fallout was allegedly sparked by the PSL’s refusal to accede to Yadah’s request for a postponement of their match against Bulawayo City.
Henceforth, Yadah Stars’ future in the Premiership hung by a thread going into 2019, this time amid yet more speculation that the franchise would be put on the market, with relegated clubs Nichrut and Bulawayo City being tipped as the possible suitors.
However, on January 3, Magaya announced that Yadah was not for sale, stating that his love for the club had been rekindled.
Magaya had even summoned his players and technical staff for a camp during the Christmas and New Year holiday season.
“I have heard the speculation that we are going to sell Yadah Stars but that’s not true.
“We are here to stay and we will be part of the PSL again this year,” Magaya told the press.
“In fact, while I faced some challenges last year with what I felt was an unfair treatment of my team, leading me to take a back seat of its operations, I can report that I have had a change of heart and revived my commitment to the project,” he added.
Exactly 91 days later, Magaya dropped another bombshell, this time saying he was selling Yadah Stars in order to concentrate on bankrolling national football teams and focus on other businesses.
“The club is up for sale,” Wellington Mpandare, Yadah Stars consultant, announced on April 4.
“His (Magaya’s) decision to sell the club does not mean that he won’t be supporting sports and football anymore. Already, he is involved in football with the national team,” added Mpandare.
Efforts to get a comment from Magaya last Thursday, on his latest U-turn, were fruitless as he promised to talk to this publication on a later date.
“You can come on Friday and we talk,” said Magaya who, however, could not be reached on the appointed day.
Hwange v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Colliery), Herentals v Yadah (Rufaro), Triangle v Manica Diamonds (Gibbo)
Mushowani Stars v FC Platinum (Rufaro)