CAPS United have signed nine unheralded players as a cost-cutting measure.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
United, who had over the years preferred big-name players, are wallowing in a financial quandary and have now resorted to employing virtually unknown players.
Team manager Josphat Rwafa confirmed six players had signed from lower division clubs and that Takudzwa Mahori had been elevated from the juniors while Gift Phiri and Dominic Mukandi were signed from Motor Action.
Dominic Chinungwa, Ronald Pfumbidzai and Steven Makatuka have joined them from the Eastern Region Division One side, Hippo Valley. The Aces Academy duo of Collin Dhuwa and Terrence Gonzo have been signed together with former ZPC Hwange goalkeeper London Zulu.
The nine acquisitions have each penned a minimum of three-year contracts, but are yet to get their signing on fees and have not started receiving their salaries.
Mahori said they are still negotiating with six players, among them former Monomotapa stiker Tawanda Nyamandwe whom they expect to sign soon.
The Green Machine last week parted ways with interim coach Mkhupali Masuku and fired seven senior players whom they claim were bleeding the club’s meagre coffers while offering little value to the club.
Last season Makepekepe spent US$840 000 all season with former minority shareholder Farai Jere being the chief financier.
Now with president Twine Phiri left to solely bankroll the club as he is yet to get any sponsorship, Caps United chief executive Joe Makuvire confirmed the club was reeling in the financial red.
“We have no money,” said Makuvire.
“We are trying to come up with a survival plan and we are working on it. Our plan is to make profit as a business entity. Discussions are currently underway with prospective sponsors and we are confident by the time the season starts, we would have come up with something concrete. We have not yet finalised our budget but for a big club, we are looking at something between US$300 000 and US$600 000 to sail us through the season. We are in debt and I cannot divulge how much we owe, but we also have various debtors,” said Makuvire.
United’s financial predicament has been underlined by the fact that retained contracted players are also yet to get their signing on fees amid pledges by club management that they will be paid next month, while some have been promised payment in July.
The players have had their January and February salaries frozen and will only start getting paid next month.
They have also not yet received their November and December salaries which led to a revolt, allegedly instigated by the fired seven senior players.
Sources within the club say CAPS’ finances are in a sorry state.
“The situation is just pathetic. We had dry festive holidays because we had not been paid our salaries but we still returned for the new season. As soon as Jere left, we were told continuously that a new sponsor was coming on board soon, but for how long do we have to wait?” asked one of the players.
The signing of the Zambian duo of Jeff Akapelwa and goalkeeper Kalililo Kakonje is now shrouded under a dark cloud of uncertainty.