Barely a quarter into the season Sunrise FC head coach Andrew Ibeh has expressed his concern about what he described as “deteriorating financial situation” at the club that has gone three months without paying both their players and coaching staff.
The news will not be music to the ears of the club fans, who were dreaming big after their team made a dream start to the 2016/17 season campaign under the new ownership of Nyagatare district that had made a significant team overhaul vowing to fight for higher positions on the table.
After winning their first three games, the Eastern Province-based side has significantly declined in terms of results having failed to register any win in their last seven games which has seen them drop from the top of the league table after match day four to eighth place with 13 points, 13 points behind leaders Rayon Sports after ten matches.
Speaking to Times Sport in an exclusive interview on Monday, the Nigerian tactician Ibeh pointed an accusing finger to his bosses, calling them, “untrustworthy” for leaving the team stranded” which has demoralized players.
“We started the season perfectly well because everything was going according to plan, with the management fulfilling their duties, however since October everything has changed, I have not received a single penny and likewise my players, we feed ourselves and do everything for ourselves,” revealed Ibeh.
He noted that, “No club official has at least come out to tell us the truth regarding the deteriorating financial situation, and as a coach I have been obliged to keep motivating the players to see if something can be done however so far I can’t do much anymore, even for Christmas, nothing was given to us.”
In their season opener, Sunrise defeated AS Kigali 1-0 before winning by the same score against Kirehe FC and went on to defeat Marines FC 3-0 in the third match.
However, after the third match, Ibeh says that players started to demand their salaries and bonuses which have not been paid to date. In that period, Sunrise FC have drawn 1-1 against Pepiniere, lost 1-0 to Rayon Sports and Etincelles before another 1-all draw to Bugesera FC.
They went on to lose 2-1 against defending champions APR FC and later settled for a barren draw to Amagaju before another 1-1 stalemate against SC Kiyovu last Saturday.
“I know my abilities and I know this team can do a lot better when working under the right conditions, but the situation isn’t conducive at all and it’s really hard to motivate the players to perform well when they have so many unsolved problems,” explained the Nigerian.
However, when Times Sport contacted club president Bosco Ndungutse, he declined to make any comment on the issue, instead referring us to the club spokesperson, Theoneste Twahirwa, who also when contacted several times, did not answer his phone.