NORMAN Mapeza has disclosed circumstances surrounding his departure from South African Premiership side Chippa United, saying he decided to step down because he felt unable to meet the targets set for him by the club.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
The former FC Platinum coach surprisingly resigned from his post on Monday night just after guiding his side to a 1-0 victory over Amazulu – a result which pulled Chippa United further away from the relegation zone.
The resignation, coming after the club appeared on course to survive relegation, naturally shook the football fraternity across South Africa.
“I hereby give notice to terminate my contract with Chippa United with immediate effect,” Mapeza’s resignation letter leaked to the media read.
“It is my view that the team is in need of a new voice. As it stands, I do not feel I am able to get the team where it is expected to be for reasons including, but not limited to, the short amount of time I have worked with the team vis-à-vis the expectation of the club and its management. The club may benefit from new set of hands with a different skill set and coaching approach. It is my hope that we can reach mutual agreement pertaining to the termination of this contract and severe the relationship in an amicable way.”
Chippa have gained notoriety for chopping and changing coaches willy-nilly and according to transfermarket website, Mapeza is the 16th coach they have had in the past five years.
This turnover of coaches at the club has not gone down well with the team’s main sponsor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, which has called on Chippa’s management to order.
The sponsors are not happy, particularly with the circumstances surrounding Mapeza’s departure, a coach who has been credited for transforming the club.
“On behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, I would like to express our serious concern about the recent resignation of Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza,” wrote the municipality’s mayor Marlon Daniels in a statement yesterday.
“Over the past two seasons, we have seen the team frequently changing coaches and senior managers,” he added before listing the coaches who have been shown the exit door in that short time, including Eric Tinkler, Clinton Larsen and Mapeza.
“What worries us most is the fact that all these changes or firing of coaches and managers have been characterised by lack of visionary leadership, a clumsy management style and an obvious lack of understanding of the business of football.”
Daniels said he believes the hiring and firing of coaches is the main reason why the team has been struggling in recent years during which they have fought relegation on a regular basis.
“As the main sponsor of the team and a partner who really has the best interest of the team at heart, we call upon the Chippa management to shape up. Our city has invested a lot of ratepayers’ money in this team. This team carries the dreams and aspirations of young footballers of our city and province. If things continue like this, we might not be lucky this time to survive relegation.”
Chippa boss Siviwe Mpengesi insisted that Mapeza resigned on his own volition.
“The coach said he does not see eye-to-eye with most of the Chippa players and has noticed signs of disrespect from some players. We are known as a team which usually fires coaches, but this time around it is the coach who has resigned. The coach’s resignation came as a surprise to us after the win at the weekend,” he said.
Mapeza, who took over as Chippa coach in October last year, has been replaced by Rulani Mokwena, who was assistant at Orlando Pirates until the end of the season.