Sandawana boss to sell club

Sandawana boss to sell club

Maseru – Sandawana owner Thato Nkone wants to dissolve the Vodacom Premier League club because its players are “rebelling against the team”.
Nkone says he spends M20 000 per week on the Butha-Buthe side and no longer wants to bleed the cash.
The ‘Tse Bo Yellow’ boss said he reached the decision after several players appeared before Sandawana’s disciplinary committee in recent weeks over behaviour which Nkone said is dragging the team down and ruining the club’s reputation.

According to Nkone, almost all his players have taken advantage of the off-season break and have been on a drinking spree since the league ended in May.
Nkone claimed the players are not respecting their contracts and that more are still to appear before him to answer for their behaviour.
“These players lack humanity,” a furious Nkone told thepost. “I have talked to them but nothing is changing; their biggest problem is drunkenness.
“They don’t respect their contracts because they all have contracts and a contract stipulates how you should behave yourself outside the pitch,” he added.
“They are giving the club a bad name,” Nkone fumed.

“Just last week they were playing in a friendly match and they lost 4-2. How do you explain that? I heard after the match that almost all the defenders were still drunk.”
Nkone’s revelations are a bombshell for a Sandawana side that has risen in stature over the past two years.
In 2016 the Butha-Buthe outfit finished fourth in the Vodacom Premier League and earlier this year hired Spanish coach Antonio Flores as their reputation began to spread outside of Lesotho.

However, Nkone said he has had enough. He said what pains him most is he is bleeding money daily to ensure the day-to-day running of the club.
Nkone said he spends close to M80 000 every month in order for the club to stay afloat. At the moment the grand prize for winning the Vodacom Premier League title is M200 000.
Asked if there is any alternative to the drastic measure of the dissolving the club, Nkone, who bought Mpharane Celtics’ top-flight status three years to form Sandawana, said he would consider selling the team’s premier league status if there is any interest.

He added he is willing to part ways with the team’s rebellious players, regardless of their importance.
“I would consider selling the status to anyone interested because I am losing money every week. I think I spent M20 000 every week for this club,” Nkone said.
“About four or five players are yet to appear before me and answer for their behaviour and I am going to expel them,” he added.
“We have about 24 or 25 players in our squad and only four or five of them respect the club – the rest do not. If I expel 20 or more players that means I am dissolving the team, that’s a whole team.”

Despite his fury and resulting uncertainty over the club’s immediate future, Nkone confirmed he is expecting American coach Eric Sarno to touch down next month to take over head coaching duties at Sandawana.

Sarno served as an assistant to Spanish coach Flores during the second half of the 2016/17 Vodacom premiership campaign.
Nkone said Sarno will fill the void left by Flores who stepped down at the end of the season. The Spaniard took charge of Sandawana in February but only managed one win in nine games as ‘Tse Bo Yellow’ followed their fourth position in 2016 with a disappointing ninth place finish.
“The new coach will coach the club whether we remain in the premier league, go down or start all over again,” Nkone said.

Luciah Phahla

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