By Nelson Ssengooba
With the new Startimes Uganda Premier League season getting underway on Friday, all is not well in police fc camp.
The Kampala Sun has learnt that police fc players are at cross roads with their bosses over unpaid arrears and bonuses totaling to millions of shillings.
A crisis that now could see the 2005 League Champions fail to honor their league opener against Jinja based side BUL FC at Startimes stadium, Lugogo on Saturday.
The players have gone on strike protesting salary arrears and unpaid bonuses that stretch way back from the 2017-2018 season. And as preparations for the new season intensified this week, the club had to shift training sessions to their new home ground at Star times stadium on Tuesday but no player turn-up apart from head coach Abudallah Mubiru and his deputy Jonh Ayala Luyinda.
“Most of us are on the verge of being evicted from our rentals because of delayed dues yet the club has gone mum on nus, we don’t see need to train on hungry stomachs,” We fought had that the club didn’t get relegated last season but sadly things have remained messy with in the club, it doesn’t augur well out there, worst, the management is unresponsive.” The Kampala Sun has learnt that players are paid monthly salaries that range between Sh350,000 and sh400,000.
The players, majority of whom were at the club last season, and spoke to Kampala Sun on the condition of anonymity have sworn that unless the dispute over last season’s unpaid salaries is resolved , they will not turn up for Friday’s fixture.
It is reported that for the last two weeks, police fc management has been engaged in talks with the players over unpaid salaries. The management summoned all the players that participated in the 2017-2018 seasons plus the technical bench with hope of finding a compromise.
The closed door deliberations were between the players representatives – captain and old serving players against club CEO ASP Francis Kidega.
While Francis Kidega’s offer was to have guaranteed a one-off lump-sum payment by the club, players’ representatives openly rejected the deal forcing the former to retreat.
One top official while carefully trying to downplay the impasse sought that the talks were still on going and that the club was keen at finding an amicable solution soonest.
“This is an internal matter, I would not go into the details because any conclusions that we drive from the on-going discussions is bound to prejudice the negations”, said the official. Coach Abdallah Mubiru is a worried man on how to plan for the game against BUL FC without his arsenals who’ve not trained for three days now. “It is wrong to strike, I don’t agree with it but it’s affecting my job which is to prepare for the new season,” how do I plan for a tough league opener a head of us ?’ wondered Mubiru.