Politics Cost Warri Wolves Millions In Transfer Revenue | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Politics Cost Warri Wolves Millions In Transfer Revenue

Posted: Mar 7, 2016 at 3:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Peter Edema, Lagos
Politics and non-payment of salaries have cost a frontline Nigerian premier league football club, Warri Wolves, millions of naira in transfer revenue, Independent has gathered.
The Warri based outfit, Independent learnt, lost 16 players that could have generated millions of naira if they were sold to other clubs before the ongoing five weeks old season kicked off. The players, according to informed sources, left the club on free transfer, with the club having no say on them.
The players left the on their own terms because the club’s new management reneged on the contractual agreement with the players last year. The players and coaches are owed one year’s wages and allowances totaling about N150 million.
Specifically, a source who pleaded anonymity said on Sunday that the players left on free transfer because the new management led by Tony Okowa refused to pay the players what the club owed them.
“Okowa said he was not going to pay the players their entitlement – one year salaries and allowances – because it is considered sign on fees,” said the source, adding that Warri Wolves management signed a new salary enhancement with the players last season, not sign on fees.
“For this reason, the players left the club without being sold by the club. Do you imagine what the club would have generated from the sale of these players? The source asked rhetorically.
Independent gathered that the Delta state government, owners of the club, failed to release funds needed to offset the players’ salaries and allowances and also that of the technical crew last year.
The management of the club last year kept promising to fulfill its own side of the agreement through several correspondences with the state government on one hand and the League management Company (LMC) on the other hand.
Aside the loss of revenue, Warri Wolves is primed for extinction as a result of the ongoing politics.
We learnt that the plan by the new management is to resuscitate Agbor United and Asaba United at the detriment of Warri Wolves.
The first phase of the plan to remove all those perceived as obstacles to achieve this aim.
In doing this, Davidson Owumi, the club’s chairman, who built the club, was shown the exit door under questionable circumstances. Edema Fuludu that replaced him resigned a fortnight ago after he was offered salary lower than that of players. Former assistant coach, Chris Okpodu left a fortnight ago when the new management decided to bring a foreign coach on N3 million monthly salary, while he was offered N250,000 per month.
“I have no problem with anybody, I left when I was offered what I felt was insulting. They offered me N200,000 per month. Have you heard where a superior officer will earn less than his subordinate? They want to pay me less than the players,” Fuludu said on Sunday.
The survival of any business concern is hinged on adequate funding. Football clubs the world over are no exception to this rule. Therefore, one expects Warri Wolves FC to take the issue of revenue generation very seriously, according to an observer.
But Okowa denied all the above allegations when contacted on Sunday.
He blamed the former management for the loss of 16 players resulting in the loss revenue running into millions of Naira.
“It happens in football when proper things are not kept, when the right things are not done.”
He denied that the club owed the players any salary but agreed that the club owed players enhanced salaries and allowances.
“We do not owe anybody any salary. Concerning enhanced wages, we have agreed that we will pay 25 per cent and the sports commission is working on that.”
He also denied the allegation that there was plan to kill the Warri based outfit and promote Delta United.
“There is no such plan. Warri Wolves belongs to the state, so also Delta United. We will do everything to ensure that Wolves remain afloat.”