Petros Kausiyo and Eddie Chikamhi
CAPS United, weighed down by serious financial problems, are now tottering on the brink of collapse, with the club’s leadership telling those who are unhappy with working under the tough conditions prevailing at the Green Machine to pack their bags and leave.
That could mean an exodus which includes coach Mark Harrison, who publicly keeps saying he is committed to the club and a number of key players.
Club chief executive Joe Makuvire yesterday suggested that there could be a “Third Force’’ behind the problems at CAPS United and appealed to the Makepekepe supporters to be patient with the management as they battle through their worst financial crisis.
Harrison, who has battled to keep his players focused on their job, seems to have riled the CAPS United management with his frankness, with Makuvire saying they were prepared to part ways with the Englishman.
Senior players, who included Hardlife Zvirekwi, Stephen Makatuka, George Nyirenda, Dominic Mukandi and Gerald Phiri refused to travel with the rest of the team to Mutare, and arrived late for the match against Buffaloes.
“I don’t know about what the coach said in the newspaper. On our part, we don’t discuss the coach’s terms of employment in the newspapers because of professional reasons,” said Makuvire.
“But if he feels that issues should be addressed via the newspaper then that is most unfortunate. We have made it clear that whoever is not with us in this should feel free to go.
“It’s about having a shared vision, which in this case is survival under the most difficult situation. If there are certain players who feel they are not part of the vision, those who cannot make the sacrifice, they are free to leave the club.
“What I know is there is a future for the club. Whether we have money or not we have to ensure that we fulfil our games competitively. We have a duty to our fellow Premiership clubs.
“CAPS United’s biggest challenge is finance. I think everyone involved with the club, we have to understand that we are financially crippled.
“The situation on the side of the players is bad. It’s bad as well on the technical and the other administrative staff. But we are not folding our hands. We are working on something. I cannot come out in the public to say things are okay, but what you should know is that we are having sleepless nights to make sure that the club survives.
“Closing shop just because we don’t have money is out of the question. It’s time we all get together and try to work out on a solution.”
Makuvire hinted there could be a third force behind their woes.
“It’s regrettable that while some are trying to keep the pieces together there are others sitting in a corner, enjoying and wishing the demise of the CAPS United brand,” said Makuvire.
“I know there were expectations that we will not fulfil the weekend fixture and the word was spreading fast. It’s a complicated situation we find ourselves in.
“There are even bigger things happening behind the scenes. I know of court cases and stuff and we need to take care of that.
“But personally, I feel this is the time all people who love this CAPS United brand to come together for the good of the club. The club comes first ahead of personal egos. Survival of the club is the priority.”
While Makuvire and his club president Twine Phiri might be seeing shadows and choosing to shift blame on Harrison and his players, the situation on the ground points to an institution that is on the brink.
CAPS United had over the weekend also indicated that they were still awaiting to receive some money they are owed by the PSL, but it emerged that it is Makepekepe who actually owe the league for the fine they incurred following their failure to travel to How Mine.
PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele last night said the top-flight body did not owe any of the member clubs money.
“We do not owe CAPS United any money. CAPS United actually owe us $1 250 for failing to fulfil the game against How Mine and they will soon appear before a disciplinary committee for bringing the game into disrepute.
“They will also be fined for causing the delay to the start of their match against Buffaloes,’’ Ndebele said.
CAPS United also have to resolve a court case in which former directors Lewis Uriri and Nhamo Tutisani have threatened to file for liquidation in order to recover the $143 000 they are jointly owed.
The Green Machine acknowledged owing Uriri $25 695 and Tutisani $118 000 while another of the two CAPS United shareholders Farai Jere is owed close to $2 million.
The notice expired on Thursday last week and the lawyer representing Uriri and Tutisani, Blessing Diza of Wilmot and Bennett law firm said the application will be filed this week if CAPS fail to pay.
“We gave CAPS United 21 days to settle the debt, but the notice period expired on Thursday and no payment had been made.
“We are now proceeding to file the application for the club to be placed on liquidation.
“CAPS on Friday sent some emissaries promising to do something, but we will only give them up to Monday (yesterday) to honour their promise.
“After Monday, we will make the necessary application if they do not pay us,” said Diza.