‘It’s all creation of the press’, Jolawi laughs off claims of players struggle

Gor Mahia team manager Jolawi Obondo has rubbished claims that some of their players have been evicted from their residences over non-payment of rent.

 Jolawi who was seemingly reluctant to divulge more information on the allegations said he is not aware of any player with such complaints saying it is “the making of the media”.

Reports in the local press indicated that Ghanaian import John Owusu was locked up in his hotel room for non-payment of accommodation charges by the club, allegations that were refuted by the player in a separate interview.

Gor are between a rock and a hard place with finances hard to come by. The team has not received the Sh4 million dues from the Kenyan Premier League for winning the crown last term, while efforts to attract a shirt sponsor have hit a brick wall.

“The hotel just reminded me to update the payments but I have not been locked up as alleged. I have told the club to clear with the hotel, but all in all I am safe and free,’’ said Owusu.

Efforts to reach club chairman Ambrose Rachier and deputy secretary general Ronald Ngala were futile as calls to their phones went unanswered.

The players were reportedly paid Sh3, 000 each as part of their salaries for each month and this has made life unbearable.

Separately, one of the players who sought anonymity confirmed that they are going through tough times.

‘”There is nothing we can do as at now. Personally I am doing side hustles for my upkeep. But some of us are really having it rough. The management has been talking to us about the current situation, only that some of us are feeling wasted,” said the player.

Gor Mahia FC coach Steve Pollack reacts during their Kenyan Premier League match against Zoo FC at Afraha stadium in Nakuru on October 06, 2019. Photo/Stafford ondego/Sportpicha

The situation is not unique to Gor though as most of the clubs in the top division and second tier are also finding it rough.

Gor were declared champions of the 2019/2020 season after FKF halted the league in the wake of Covid- 19 pandemic.

By that time K’Ogalo were at the helm of the standings with 54 points, Kakamega Homeboyz second, seven points behind them.

The decision to declare them champions has however been challenged at the Sports Disputes Tribunal, Chemelil Sugar being the Petitioner.

Should Gor earn the nod to represent the country in the continental club championship it will get even tougher what with the huge expenses involved and the future looking bleak, at least for now.