The crisis rocking FC IfeanyiUba took a new dimension for the worse as team coach Ladan Bosso called it quit with the club over unpaid salaries and allowances to players running into 8 months.
The club owned by controversial oil magnate and politician, Ifeanyi Uba, a one-time governorship candidate of Labour Party in Anambra State first erupted in crisis when in August, the players reportedly went on a strike and refused to train for a week in order to press home their demands.
However, the action failed to persuade the management into meeting its obligations to players.
Bosso, who is also the President of the Nigeria Coaches Association, told newsmen on Thursday that he had spoken with the club management but decided to quit after the talks yielded no results.
“It is a well-known fact that you cannot play football on an empty stomach. These players are the major actors in the sport and without them, whatever I know as a coach will come to nothing,” he said.
“It has been a year I joined the club and I decided to quit after our exit from the Aiteo Cup because the players have not been paid for a while and it has affected the team’s activities. I cannot be a party to a situation where players are denied what is due to them – most of these players are breadwinners of their families and they can’t play good football when their mind is divided between the game and how to provide for their families.
“The failure to pay the players’ salaries affected our performances in the Aiteo Cup and I couldn’t blame the players because I knew what they were going through. I spoke with the management and explained my stand to them but since nothing tangible happened, I decided it was time to leave.
“I have always been in the forefront of fighting for the right of players because I know that happy players will result in good performances on the pitch – they will play their hearts out knowing that they have nothing to worry about. But if the club still need my services, they should settle the players and after that we can talk about a new contract.”
Although Ifeanyi Ubah told journalists in August that the club was unable to pay the players because they had yet to receive payments in the last two seasons from the League Management Company for participating in the Nigeria Professional Football League.