Gaborone United head coach Rodolfo Zapata Premier league is reportedly on the verge of quitting his job with the Premier League side over unpaid salaries.
According to sources close to the coach, the Argentinean gaffer, who is owed close to eight months in salaries is now seriously considering dumping GU over what he deems ‘unfulfilled promises and breach of contractual obligations.’
While GU has shown some flashes of progress of late, Zapata is also allegedly finding it hard to motivate his players, some of whom are alleged to have not got their salaries over the past five months.
“The coach wants to leave but he has since delayed his departure because of the mascom Top 8 tournament which he hopes to win,” said the source.
“He is also trying to stay strong for his players as he believes they are doing a great job despite not getting their monthly dues. Zapata has very cordial working relationships with the players and he feels obligated to stick with them,” he added.
It is said both the coach and his players optimistic that if they continue working together their team has a chance of winning the Top 8. “The players and the coach have pinned their hopes on Top 8, they hope to win it and may be they can be paid from the prize money,” sources told Sunday Standard.
The coach also came on the eve of the first league game after the Christmas break because the team did not buy him air tickets buy. The coach trips to and from Argentina was sponsored by his family.
“I don’t want to talk about that I can only talk about the technical aspect of the game and about my players only,” Zapata said when reached for comment.
Asked if his players are also not paid for four months, coach did not answer it also save to say, “I am trying hard to motivate his players despite the challenges and concerns they are facing. They have been responding very well and have fighting spirit.”
GU, general manger Olebile Sikwane dismissed the reports that players are owed over five months, “GU does not owe any single player a salary. We look after our players very well. If a player said we owe them, kindly inform them we are paying salaries on Tuesday. They should notify our accountant.”
“GU pays players last day of the month. Which player is owed, why he is informing the media and not the employer,” fumed Sikwane.
According to Sikwane, GU is one of the best looked after teams in the country with a very small economy, a poorly attended football product and a lackadaisical attitude by sponsors.
On the assertions that the team owes the coach close to eight months salaries Sikwane could not commit or deny.
“Why would a coach stay if he is owed eight months? Does it make sense?” he asked rhetorically.
Concerning allegations that they have since failed to provide the coach with proper accommodation since arriving in Botswana, Sikwane had this to say, “We chose Oasis as we have done very good business with Siddir owner of Oasis. The coach has moved to Bemcoville, an apartment in town.
The coach is allegedly not happy that he has not been given a luxurious house he was promised when he came to Botswana. It is said he is not happy with hotel life saying it is not good for a family man and he cannot do other things.
Sikwane however said the coach is very happy about the prospects ahead and is a highly professional coach who understands and respects contractual obligations.