Seeds of discontent regarding payment of the players are growing at the Kgatleng outfit, Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Sunday Standard is reliably informed that players have for some time been paid latter and the situation nearly got out of control last week. Players are reported to have stormed offices of one of the team officials demanding their payments with immediate effect.
The incident that took place on Tuesday is reported to have left many Centre Chiefs supporters disappointed. Sunday Standard has also learned that the players were supposed to be paid last weekend but the team postponed payment to Monday. When Monday arrived there was still no sign of money and players then waited for Tuesday. When Tuesday came but still with nothing, most players who survive through football lost their patience and went straight to the office of one of the executive committee members.
One of the players, who preferred anonymity, told Sunday Standard that if Centre Chiefs cannot address issues of payment of the players sooner, the team might be heading for a disastrous performance this season. The player said even when the players are paid, they are all not paid at the same time something he also said might divide the team.
“Centre Chiefs is a big team with great players and it should also show some respect to us because most of us make a living through playing the sport. What has been going for some time is causing concern. Imagine a situation whereby players storm an office of the official demanding money; this really raises many questions. It is also a norm at the team that certain players are paid well in time before others, and how could the team progress or even win major titles under such circumstances. I can tell Centre Chiefs could have won the league last year if it was not for these financial problems. There are also other players who have sacrificed a lot for this team but if you really see how much they are paid, you would not believe it,” the player said.
The player also expressed concern about the influx of stars at the team. He questioned whether the team would really fulfill their financial promises bearing in mind that the league has just begun. Some of the stars at Centre Chiefs are Pontsho Moloi, Mpho Mabogo, Thato Siska, Tshepo Motlhabankwe and Noah Maposa. The players are on the wanted list of almost every Premier League team and if Chiefs commit any mistake, the players might opt out.
Meanwhile, Chiefs public relations officer, Clifford Mogomotsi, conceded that the players were paid latter than was expected. He has, however, assured Centre Chiefs supporters that all is well at the team. He told Sunday Standard that the players have been paid their dues and are already training with the team. He added that what happened last weekend was just a hiccup which has since been dealt with amicably.
“The players were supposed to be paid last week Monday, but the person who was processing everything was in South Africa. We sat down with the players and explained the situation to them. As I am talking to you now, everything is fine and players are happy,” he said.
What is, however, raising eyebrows about the alleged financial worries about the Chiefs is that it splashed a lot of money before the transfer window closed a few weeks ago. In one of the instances, Chiefs are alleged to have verbally recruited Township Rollers player, Boitumelo Mafoko, and splashed a hefty fifteen thousand pula. After accepting the money, the player refused to leave Rollers and Chiefs have since taken legal action to force the player to return the money. Sunday Standard is in possession of a letter in which one Centre Chiefs’ official forces Mafoko to return the money through his lawyers.
It is not the only time that Chiefs have been embroiled in financial dire straights. At the beginning of last season, most Chiefs players decried the situation and some threatened to boycott training.