Polack backs Caf: Gor Mahia & Africans teams should respect contracts

Polack backs Caf: Gor Mahia & Africans teams should respect contracts

The British tactician expresses his happiness at the African body’s move to compel clubs to pay former players and coaches

Steve Polack has faulted African teams for a failure to honour contracts signed by former players and coaches, insisting he is very happy with the decision by Caf to bar such teams from taking part in their competitions.

On Thursday, Caf released a statement stating no team will be allowed to take part in their competitions if they have any open cases of overdue payables with their former and current players and coaches.

The decision has already left many teams sweating in Africa and in Kenya, champions Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are the most affected as they owe a number of coaches and players unpaid allowances and salaries.

The British tactician, who guided K’Ogalo to the Premier League title last season before parting ways on mutual agreement, has told Goal he was happy with the stance taken by Caf because it is a wake-up call for many other African teams to honour signed contracts.

What has been said?

“I am very happy with Caf decision because it is making a stand to help those people who don’t get their money and it will also help by forcing the clubs to start paying players and coaches, who they owe,” Polack told Goal in an exclusive interview from his base in Finland.

Dickson Ambundo of Gor Mahia.

“For me, it doesn’t matter which clubs in Africa is owing who, but the letter from Caf is very timely because I think they [Caf and Fifa] have heard and seen enough over the many cases they receive each and every day, so I think it is a good decision.

“Caf has now handed the team’s a wake-up call, they should know when you sign a contract with someone, then you have to pay him or her, there is no shortcut to that, what clubs in Africa need to do is to honour contracts and that is why they are signed.”

Polack continued: “And this is not personal but it is a fact, you have to be paid, if you have a contract you have to be paid, as you know a lot of clubs like to play in the Caf competition because of financially gains and it is good to them but now I wonder how many teams are getting worried, I’d like to know how many teams are suffering because they are many?

“I guess a lot of teams we know will come up with the excuse of the Covid-19 pandemic [as the reason not to pay salaries] but that is the way it is when you sign a contract with somebody you have to honour it.”

Polack further queried why the same clubs in Africa always run to Caf or Fifa for protection, if a coach signs a contract and then disappears not to honour it.

“If I sign a contract today [Friday] with any club and terminate it two or three days later the same club will want their money back, they will run to Caf and if you have a signed and valid contract then you will have to pay them back,” Polack continued.

“It should be the same thing for players and coaches, you have to honour a written contract it is nothing to joke about, to me what Caf have done will keep everybody on their toes, now the clubs will have to move and pay people because they know they might miss out on the Caf competition and that is where money lies.

Bandari FC head coach Casa Mbungo.

“I know all those regular teams that take part in Caf competition are sweating, they are sweating and I think Caf has concerned them, they are wondering if they don’t make it to competition because they owe people money, I am very disappointed because all clubs in Africa should realise you have to honour what you have written in the contract.”

Gor and AFC the most affected

Gor have a debt of Ksh1.3 million as they owe Tanzanian Dickson Ambundo, as well as an unknown amount to Polack, and already, Fifa has banned them from signing new players in the current transfer window.

For Leopards, it is even worse since they owe Serbian coach Marko Vasilijevic, nor have they settled their debt with Burundian Andre Casa Mbungo. The 13-time league champions are also under a ban after failing to settle Rwandan midfielder Vincent Habamahoro’s dues, totalling Ksh1.8 million.

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