By Solomon Odeniyi
PLAYERS and some staff members of Osun United Football Club have not been paid salaries for the past two months by the state government, findings by OSUN DEFENDER have revealed.
The players have boycotted trainings on several occasions in protest against the nonpayment of their salaries.
According to one of the players who prayed not to be named, the situation had demoralised many of them, as they prepare for the new season billed to commence January next year.
He said many of them were finding it difficult to meet their responsibilities to their families.
The player said “In October, we were told that there was paucity of fund due to the #EndSARS protests. Now they said we need to do capturing and we will only be paid when that is completed. This is unfair; we have families who are dependent on us.”
OSUN DEFENDER reliably gathered that the players have reported the issue to the State of Osun House of Assembly.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye held a stakeholders’ meeting with the players and management of Osun United and officials of the Ministry of Youths and Sports yesterday.
The outcome of the meeting was not yet known as at the time of filing this report.
Findings by this medium also revealed that Osun United has received eviction notice from the players’ camp/accommodation as they owed rent.
Reacting, the Vice President of the team, Vincent Akinbami said the newly introduced system of payment was responsible for the delay.
Akinbami said: “What actually happened was that they (government) didn’t pass information on time and we submitted the lists late as a result. This is because of the capturing issue the government has imposed on us now.
“They want to make sure everybody is paid at once. Right now, the list has been submitted, hopefully capturing will soon take place and payment will be made.
“There should be no cause for alarm with the capturing. It is simple, once a player moves, we write a letter and the name of the player that has moved, his licence and account number are presented to the people in charge, we replace him with a new player.”
On issue of the rent, Vincent said: “We just submitted the letter today, I will get money to go and pay for the players’ rent. We just listed down the things we need to buy. We are also working on the club to make sure things are well in place.
“We are also planning a friendly match on Sunday and Monday. We are resuming training on Friday and everything has been put in place. The Osun United Club will be more united this time around than ever before, so we can achieve our goal of attaining promotion, possibly and of course we are winning the cup because we are also thinking of going continental by the grace of God.
Meanwhile, sports athletes staged a protest at the house of assembly complex yesterday where they demanded the immediate removal of the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Yemi Lawal.
They accused Lawal of shortchanging and denying them their entitlements.
Another allegation raised by the athletes was the missing €10,000 share of Osun United from the proceeds from Ighalo’s transfer from Shanghai Shenhua to Manchester United.
Some of the placards read: “Yemi Lawal has stopped our salaries.” “There is corruption in the Sports Ministry.” “We Want the removal of Yemi Lawal.”
Another Tranche Of Ighalo’s Transfer Fee Paid To Osun
Another tranche of the proceeds from Man Utd’s striker, Odion Ighalo’s transfer fee has been paid in November.
It was learnt that Osun United received about £12,600, which had been spent.
Out the £12,600, a sum of N250, 000 is remaining as balance.
The money was shared with the knowledge of Osun United Board, it was learnt.
Akinbami said: “Ighalo’s money has come in and we have also gotten a list of needs to acquire; and of course we are making judicious use of it. A lot still need to be done.”