CAPS United president Twine Phiri on Friday read the Riot Act to his players and technical staff and directed errant individuals to leave the club if they were not happy with the prevailing working conditions.
BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO
Phiri disclosed this on the side lines of his team’s Castle Premiership encounter against Highlanders which the Green Machine won 1-0 at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
“I had a meeting with the team on Friday and its purpose was to tell the players that Caps United is a big brand and there are people that have made sacrifices for the club.
“We don’t need jokers at Caps United. We need serious and committed people, that is what I was telling them,” Phiri said.
The Makepekepe boss said he even went to the extent of demanding the points that his players gave away when they refused to turn up for their Week 3 encounter against How Mine at Luveve Stadium last month.
“It is not Twine Phiri’s fault that our country’s economy is not in a good shape and people should be patient.
“Unfortunately, some have become personal and fingers have been pointed at me saying the situation at the club is of my own making, but it’s a national problem and the evidence is there right here in this stadium today (Sunday) because this is not the kind of crowd that one would expect at a Highlanders and Caps United game,” Phiri said.
The turnout at Barbourfields on Sunday was very poor considering the calibre of the teams in action, maybe due to the fact that the home team increased gate charges in a bid to boost their coffers.
The lowest ticket cost $5 up from $3, western stands were pegged at $10, while the VIP was $15.
To make matters worse, the match was screened live on SuperSport and fans decided to stay at home.
Phiri went on to assure the football fraternity that the unfortunate incident that saw his team failing to take to the field against How Mine would never happen again.
He added that as a result of the criticism that has come his way over his club’s financial dire straits, he had ended up challenging those that thought they could do better to buy him out.
“I have never failed in my life and for the team to be where it is it is because of the sacrifices that I have made.
“What happened in Week 3 is now water under the bridge (it) will never happen again because I am now hands on and you have my word on that,” Phiri said.
The Caps United supremo further said that plans have already been put in place to source funds from the team’s fans and well-wishers.
He said: “Caps United supporters chapters drawn from across the country met in Bulawayo before the game against Highlanders and came up with a plan to open an account where funds will be deposited.”
After establishing the programme locally, Phiri said their next target would be to target their fans in the Diaspora.
The Green Machine were not even sure if they would make the trip to the City of Kings on Friday night due to financial problems, but that was not evident at all as Stephen Makatuka delivered the solitary blow in the 26th minute of a closely fought contest.
In a post-match interview, a clearly elated Caps United coach Mark Harrison praised his players for the win.
“We deserved to win this game, make no mistake about that. We should have been three or four nil at half time.
“This is the best crew of players I have worked with in the world. Everything we have been going through in this football club shows the world that the players are phenomenal.
“They have gone through a lot and what they are delivering at the moment is equally phenomenal,” Harrison said.
After suffering his second home defeat at home to Chapungu by the same scoreline, Bosso coach Bongani Mafu said: “Goals were not coming for us. We need to get goals, they are not coming at all. We still created opportunities, but without scoring it’s not going to happen we need goals.
“I think it’s about confidence. We need to have a little bit of composure in front of goal and not to worry too much if we miss. I think the goal took the wind out of our sail and we went out of the way a little bit in the first half but I must say we played better football in the second half. We conceded a goal which we could have cut off so we need to work on those things.”