CAPS United were struck with an untimely bombshell last night when coach Mark Harrison sensationally quit the Harare football giants after only 13 matches in charge.
BY WELLINGTON TONI
He had signed a three-year contract with the Green Machine.
His assistant, Mark Mathe, takes over as caretaker coach until the end of the season and will be assisted by Brenna Msiska.
After a rollercoaster start to life at the Green Machine that began with a delayed work permit, failure to fulfil a league match against How Mine in Bulawayo, facing eviction from his lodgings and the club being bought by Farai Jere, the Briton has decided enough is enough.
Caps board chairman Lewis Uriri confirmed Harrison’s departure in a statement last night.
“Notice is given to the Caps United family and the broader football fraternity that yesterday, Sunday June 14 2015, I received coach Mark Harrison’s resignation as Caps United Football Club coach.
“Coach Harrison has, in his resignation, cited the damage to his personal and professional life occasioned by the unfortunate operating environment prior to the appointment of the present Board at Caps United FC during the first four months of his tenure. Additionally, coach Harrison has taken into account certain personal and professional imperatives that he feels he cannot compromise on.
“The Board of Caps United Football Club (Private) Limited wishes coach Harrison the best in his future endeavours.
“The Board of Caps United wishes to advise that Mark Mathe takes over as caretaker coach until the end of the season. He will be assisted by Brenna Msiska.”
Despite the new upheavals, the board remains committed to bringing stability to the club.
“The board wishes to assure all stakeholders that everything possible is being done to bring stability to the Green Machine.
The board is acutely aware of the need to timeously and adequately inform the broader Caps United family and the public of developments at Caps United.
“A full disclosure of the turn-around strategy, business plan, club policy, management and control as well as the funding requirements and strategy will be made in short course only to the extent that it is consistent with the basic tenets of corporate governance.
“The broader Caps United family and stakeholders are urged to exercise extreme patience and restraint as the board seeks to turn around the fortunes of the Green Machine. Speculation, conjecture and communication other than from the board may harm the vision and ongoing deliberations with various stakeholders,” the statement read.
A source close to the developments said Harrison could replace Steve Komphela at Maritzburg United, who also quit yesterday and could be unveiled as the new Kaizer Chiefs coach tomorrow.
But another source added a new twist: “I hear he is headed to Highlanders to replace Bongani (Mafu). Highlanders wanted him early in the year, but they only got in touch with him on January 8 this year after he had already signed a deal with Twine Phiri on December 22, 2014 to become Caps coach.
“Now that he is free and Bongani seems to have failed to meet the target set, he might be going there. I hear a Highlanders benefactor has offered him a house and a new Mercedes-Benz for use, so anything goes for now. I think he will consider the best offer, although he might end up back in South Africa.”
Harrison was not reachable for comment yesterday.
The Briton first arrived in South Africa in the 2010-2011 season and took charge of Mpumalanga Black Aces for a season.
The following year, he was at National First Division side African Warriors and followed that with a stint at Bay United for another 12 months.
He joined Absa Premiership side Chippa United in 2013, but did not finish the season after being in charge for only four matches and then left for Golden Arrows before joining Black Leopards. He quit Leopards last December to join Caps United.
He was officially unveiled as Caps coach on January 15 this year.