These are indeed troubled times for the self styled NPFL Galacticos. The discontent and disgruntlement bubbling beneath the surface at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium is almost palpable.
A source close to the club confirmed to us that two members of the club’s foreign legion; Tamen Medrano and Ngoma Luamba have reportedly returned to Cameroon.
Fans favorite Pascal Seka has not been seen around the Ifeanyi Ubah Games village. Goalkeeper Idrissa Bamba has been conveniently unavailable for selection for the last couple of games of the season.
The reason for all this is not so far fetched as the players are being owed as much as 5 months salaries, and the situation doesn’t look like improving anytime soon.
Indeed it is the managerial ingenuity of the club Chairman Mr Chukwuma Ubah that has held the club together through thick and thin.
Trouble started when the founder Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah was incarcerated by the DSS Authorities in Nigeria over some of the dealings his company Capital Oil and Gas had with the state owned NNPC.
The players decided to show solidarity and support for their boss by soldiering on— during the period of his incarceration— without being paid.
Upon his release there was widespread jubilation, hope was rekindled, morale was boosted and the playing personnel carried on battling for NPFL glory.
When Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah decided to take an ill advised shot at contesting for the governorship position and launch a campaign so expensive it beggared belief.
Eye watering sums were rumored to have been disbursed (One source even claims that as much as $1million was spent during the primaries) and lost when Dr Ubah lost controversially in the primaries.
While all this was going on the players had still not been paid, all attempts to seek redress through the proper channels proved abortive, and the standard reply was always “there is no money”.
At this point in time the players felt betrayed that the man they sought to protect had practically treated them like nonentities. Grumblings of discontent were heard and the players threatened to go on strike.
If not for the tactical ingenuity and superb man management of Coach Yaw Preko, (himself unhappy at the turn of events) anarchy would have reigned supreme.
The gaffer’s intelligent squad rotation and promotion of some of the Feeders players helped ensure that a threadbare squad still remained competitive until the AITEO Cup 2nd leg semifinal against Niger Tornadoes.
In the absence of senior established stars, Preko had to call on the likes of Uche Okafor, Ayorinde and M’gbisa to help finish the season.
Hopefully peace and sanity returns to the Club, but until then it is a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode.