Highlanders coach Erol Akbay’s relationship with the club’s executive has been strained further after the coach accused his bosses of lack of organisation.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The Dutch mentor was on the attack again following the team’s defeat to Chapungu on Sunday in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match they played well, but failed to convert their chances.
He complained that following the departure of Prince Dube and Roderick Mutuma, the club failed to sign the players that he had recommended as replacements.
Highlanders acting chairman Modern Ngwenya also made counter-accusations against the coach.
Akbay says he had recommended good players to the Highlanders leadership, but had been told that the club had no money.
“I have a number of strikers that I recommended to the chief executive officer and the executive committee also, but these guys have always said there is no money,” the Dutchman said.
“Sometimes I think this is not fair. You sell your best strikers and you still think you have good strikers (remaining).”
He said he was only told about Dube not returning from South Africa and Mutuma going to Yadah FC when he returned from Netherlands after the mid-season break.
“I was only told later that Prince was not coming back and Roderick had gone to Yadah. I wanted one player from Chicken Inn, but there was no money to get the player and I got busy trying to get another striker and still nothing happened,” Akbay said.
“The strikers that we signed at the beginning of the season were the best that we had because we cannot pay high salaries. Even Dynamos do not have money and did not sign any players in mid-season, that means they are better organised than us. Maybe what we don’t have at Highlanders is good organisation.”
Akbay said Highlanders were now out of the title race, but he would see out his contract.
“I have no reason to quit. I have a good working relationship with the boys. As along as the players support me, I am not going to quit. This year, it’s over for Highlanders in terms of the championship,” he said.
“The only chance that we had was last year, but with these kind of problems this year, assistant coaches fired and all these kind of things, it is not going to work.”
But Ngwenya said Akbay had never recommended any player to the club’s leadership after Dube and Mutuma’s departure.
“Which strikers did he (Akbay) recommend before going for his break? We stand guided by him. He is the one who recommends players. He is saying we were supposed to buy strikers, but which strikers?” Ngwenya said.
“We are administrators. We are not skilled in the art of knowing who is a prolific goal-getter and who is not. Out of nine strikers, he lost two. There are seven strikers. It is him who recommended and when he recommends and we sign all the players that he wants, he then blames us for the recruitment. It’s not fair because naturally, a bad workman blames his tools.”
Akbay has indicated that he will not be renewing his contract when it expires at the end of the year.