By Ricky Zililo
Players from Highlanders’ developmental side, Bosso90, which competes in the Zifa Southern Region Division One League, were left furious yesterday after the club failed to pay them allowances for making the final of the inaugural Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight tournament.
Bosso90 got $1 500 as losing finalists of the tournament sponsored by Trukumb Mining Enterprises after going down 0-3 to ZRP Bulawayo.
The players claimed they were promised a share of the proceeds from the tournament, but when they got to the club’s offices yesterday, they were told the money was used to pay first team coach Erol Akbay.
“To be honest we’re disappointed. We came here hoping to get our share from the tournament only to be told that we are not getting anything at all because the money was used to pay the coach (Akbay), who was leaving for the Netherlands. We feel hard done because the little we were expecting to get from here was going to help us get something for our families,” said one player.
Another revealed that they were not paid throughout the year, as the club continuously made empty promises.
“What hurts the most is that we were told that we will get subsistence allowances during the season, but that never happened. When we took part in the JM Nkomo tournament, we were told we were going to share the prize money since we never got anything from the club, but sadly, we were told stories this morning.
“We have been here for more than two hours waiting for an explanation, only to be greeted by news that our money was paid to the first team coach,” said the player.
The development side’s allowance stand-off comes two days after senior team players staged a three-hour sit-in at the club offices on Sunday night, demanding to be paid appearance fees for the Bosso @90 Challenge match against rivals Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium.
The senior team players alleged that acting club chairman Modern Ngwenya promised them $150 each as appearance fees for the game, but they were only given $30.
Ngwenya vehemently denied the senior team’s claims, saying they had agreed that players were going to equally share the net gate takings.
Another development side player claimed they were told at the club offices that their allowances would be paid once Highlanders received their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League third place finish cheque.
Bosso will get close to half of their $50 000 prize money because of fines that accumulated during the season, meaning the chances of the developmental side players getting any allowances are slim, as the club might prioritise signing first team players for the 2017 season.
Highlanders’ treasurer Donald Ndebele’s mobile phone was unreachable, while Ngwenya said he was in a meeting. Chronicle