A treacherous storm is brewing at MTC Premiership champions African Stars with a handful of senior players threatening to leave the club over slashed bonuses.
The disgruntled players are gatvol with the shoddy fashion in which the club cheesed off their win bonuses despite having run their lungs out in the 30 rounds of matches to lift the elusive coveted league trophy.
Disgruntled Stars players have approached New Era Sport accusing club management of cutting their bonuses for winning the MTC Namibia Premier League title, with almost half of the players taking home between N$1 000 and N$3 000 in bonuses while the highest amount is believed to be in the region of N$14 000.
The agitated players, who strictly requested that their identity be withheld for fear of reprisal, are furious and threatened to terminate their contracts with the club saying they are growing tired of the club’s seemingly unending boardroom shenanigans.
“This is very unfair towards some of us who entirely depend on our monthly remuneration for survival, we have families, babies and rental fees to take care of. How on bloody earth do they expect us to sustain ourselves. Most of us are in unison that the most viable option is to sever ties with the club and look for greener pastures elsewhere, ” chirped one of the senior players.
“We have already raised the issue with the captain, Pat-Nevin Uanivi, but this guy always sides with the team management and never lends us an ear to hear our grievances. My brother, you tell me, what does one do with a paltry bonus of N$1 000? This is just pure nonsense,” adds another fed-up member of the disgruntled group.
New Era Sport also has it on good authority that there was a string of phone calls between the dismayed players and club officials, leading to a horde of unprintable words being exchanged. The Reds received a staggering N$1 million for winning the lucrative MTC/NPL crown.
Approached for comment, African Stars Director Sieggie Mujoro-Veii, rubbished the allegations accusing the players of seeking unnecessary publicity. “It’s a lie, there is no player that walked away with a N$1 000 besides only three players who got N$500 each since they are currently loaned out to other clubs. All the players were rewarded according to the number of games they played (pro rata) and, according to our records, none of the regular players got less than N$3 000,” fumed the outspoken football official.
“It’s clearly stipulated in their contracts that 25 per cent of the N$1 million the club received for winning the league title goes to the players and that is exactly what happened. Each player was paid according to the number of games played, so if there are players that expected to get the same amount of money as those who played more games than them, they must be joking.”
As for the nasty phone calls exchanged between players and club officials at the weekend, Veii-Mujoro painfully admits to being personally insulted by burly striker Heinrich ‘Gazza’ Kazeurua during a heated telephonic conversation.
“Yes, it’s true that most club officials including myself were insulted by the players. I was personally insulted by Gazza (Kazeurua), who insulted my mother and even continued pouring a string of insults on both my parents, testing my patience to the limit as much as I was trying to explain the bonus procedures,” added Mujoro-Veii.