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Caps, Connor divorce turns nasty


Caps United’s divorce with Northern Irish coach Sean Connor turned nasty yesterday after the two parties reached a deadlock over the interpretation of the contract he signed with the Harare football giants.

A series of meetings have been taking place since Wednesday as both parties tried to find a solution to the problem.

Caps United vice-president Farai Jere and chief executive Maxwell Mironga represented the club while Connor was represented by his manager Denford Mutashu.

But the two parties differed on the interpretation of the contract forcing them to refer the matter to their legal representatives. Caps United are being represented by their lawyer TK Hove.

It has emerged that Connor had signed a two-year contract with Caps United which was to be reviewed every year. His target was to take the team into the top four this season. The contract was supposed to be renewed at the end of the current campaign in December.

However, United were not happy with the performance of the team and decided to terminate the contract following the team’s 3-2 loss to Hwange at the Colliery on Sunday — their fourth successive defeat.

While Mutashu and Connor have accepted the decision by United to terminate the contract, they are not happy with the way the Caps directors handled the whole issue.

Mutashu, who manages a number of Zimbabwean players, said Caps United could have done better in the way they handled the issue. He said Connor was ejected from the flat where he was staying just before the team went to Hwange at the weekend and was now staying at a lodge in Avondale.

“We held our first meeting with Caps United director Farai Jere and chief executive Maxwell Mironga yesterday (Wednesday) and we registered our complaint and they also registered their displeasure over the performance of the team.

“We met again today (yesterday), but we could not finalise the issue. We differed on the interpretations of the contract and Caps United said they would consult their lawyer and we will also consult our lawyer to help on the way forward,” said Mutashu.

Mutashu said they were not concerned about the monetary issues and that Connor had accepted the job to contribute to the development of the local game and also learn.

He said the target that had been set for the coach was achievable notwithstanding that the working conditions were not enabling.

“We are not mercenaries. Connor is not a mercenary. He came here to help contribute to the development of the game and also learn in a new environment. I strongly feel that Caps United could have done better in handling this issue.

“There was no reason for this matter to be handled by the lawyers. We are not happy with the way he was treated given that he is a foreigner. Right now, Connor is distraught. He can’t understand what has happened to him. It’s unfortunate that you cannot speak to him at the moment,” said Mutashu.

When contacted for comment, Jere said he was in a meeting and referred further questions to Mironga whose phone was not reachable at the time of going to print.

Caps United are stuck in mid table with 19 points from 16 matches. They are 17 points behind leaders Highlanders who are still unbeaten with the campaign at the halfway stage and the two sides clash at Rufaro tomorrow.

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