Is CAPS United heading towards collapse?

IT’S no longer just a crisis.

It’s now a mire. A pandemical predicament.

CAPS United are in desperate need of life support. But, as it stands, no one is willing to give them a hand.

Maybe the Premiership football club owners lack the goodwill to attract partners.

For the umpteenth time this year, Makepekepe players have boycotted training.

For the past two days, the players have been in a no show.

Just seven fringe players, including Thulani Nyamapfeka, Crucial Mandaza and Tatenda Diego Makurumidze, showed up at the club training base in Marlborough yesterday.

One would feel for their coaching department led by Lloyd Chitembwe who had to improvise drills to suit the thin playing staff.

The Green Machine are scheduled to travel to Bulawayo for a date against Highlanders in a league match on Sunday.

And that high-profile fixture could be thrown into disarray.

The players are determined not to travel to Bulawayo for that tie.

They have not received their salaries for the past three months.

Shockingly, the club president Farai Jere is reported to have been sending “fake” salary messages to the players’ phones.

One player, who cannot be named for fear of victimisation, revealed the calamitous development.

“We have not been paid for the past three months. However, we have been receiving fake salary deposit messages on our phones for the period. It’s so sad,” said the player.

“Imagine receiving a salary message and not being able to get the salary. Club president Farai Jere has been saying that he made a mistake on the reference number. Such a lie. We are fed up with this kind of unprofessionalism.

“We love our team but this level of unprofessionalism stinks.

“We are ready to leave the team. We can’t stand this anymore. If nothing happens then they will have to see how they will arrange to play the league match against Highlanders on Sunday. We are not going to listen to any fake stories any more. It’s enough, we have families to feed and we can’t always get those reassurance fake stories every day. We don’t eat that.”

Everything is going south at the Green Machine.

This is happening just days after they were knocked out of the Chibuku Super Cup by Black Rhinos at Vengere last Saturday.

The army side arrived in Rusape early on Friday and even had light training at the match venue before they relaxed at their booked place awaiting the match.

Makepekepe were in Harare, trying to convince the players to travel for the fixture.

They eventually travelled to Rusape on Saturday morning.

Without much rest, they entered the field.

But Chitembwe is brilliant.

Very few coaches would have been able to keep that team together until now.

He has done that and has won tough matches for the club who are, however, not entirely safe from relegation.

His charges battled.

They were impressive, dominating territory but failing to kill off the game.

Black Rhinos were organised on and off the field.

They knew how to play even without plenty of the ball.

They won the match 1-0, deservedly.

Despair for CAPS United.

The bus travelled in slow speed all the way back to Harare suggesting some mechanical defects.

Yet two weeks ago, their recently appointed chief executive, Charlie Jones, said things were starting to shape up.

An energy company was reported to be on its way to sponsor the club.

Hot air?

“No, the sponsor was on the way but they preferred high-level confidentiality but Jones (Charlie) then leaked the deal before it was sealed,” an insider told The Herald.

“The prospective sponsors weren’t happy and they said they were pulling out.

“However, there are signs they might soften their stance and everyone has their fingers crossed.” A CAPS United TV deal, supposedly secured with a private player, seems to have collapsed before take-off.

The Herald sent questions to Jones on Monday morning and he just replied: “OK ,will revert as soon as l get back to my office”.

Several attempts to get the responses failed to bear any fruit.

“I am in the office right now working on your questions,” he said yesterday.

And nothing came. “Sorry, I can’t talk right now,” was his response when he was called yesterday. Makepekepe have actually slid into a worse off situation than they were before appointing Jones. Jere was also not reachable for comment yesterday.

It’s a miracle CAPS United have been in existence for so long this season.

Most players who talked to The Herald yesterday said they were only playing for Chitembwe.

If the latter decides to quit, then things might fall apart. Jere has since called upon bidders who can afford to sustain Makepekepe which he claims need US$40 000 to run per month. – Herald