Tension at Sunshine as govt moves to fire coach, players
Peter Dada, Akure
The Ondo State Football Agency has begun the process of overhauling struggling Premier League club Sunshine Stars ahead the second stanza of the 2018/2019 season, our correspondent has learnt.
Sunshine, who managed to escape relegation at the end of last season, have been beset with financial crisis since last season, with some of the players and ex-players allegedly owed salaries and match allowances by the Akure club.
The Ondo State Government, who owns the outfit, fired Duke Udi, who helped rescued the team from relegation, in March and replaced him with former manager of the side Henry Abiodun on a caretaker basis.
Sunshine are currently 19th in the 20-team Premier League, and the state government is said to be unhappy with the development, hence it has decided to act.
Our correspondent learnt that ODSFA, who is in charge of the club, is planning a massive overhaul of the coaching and playing staff in a bid to save the team from relegation.
It was learnt that Abiodun would be redeployed to the technical department of the club to pave the way for “a more experienced coach”.
Sources close to the club told our correspondent that some of the players would be sent packing.
It was learnt that the agency has been discussing with some coaches as they move to save the club.
“There is a plan to hire a new coach and the current coach would be redeployed to the technical department while some new players have arrived to be signed, but the club have to pay N10m to the LMC (League Management Company) before the new players can be used,” a source told our correspondent on Wednesday.
The source added that the club must pay the LMC the money before Friday.
However, the Media Officer of the Sunshine Chris Okunnuwa denied Abiodun would be fired.
He confirmed the move to sign new players, noting that the financial crisis in the club is about to be resolved.
Okunnuwa said, “I am not aware of any coach to be sacked or redeployed. Coach Abiodun is still in charge of the team as I speak with you now.
“On the issue of the money, that is the only running issue we have because some of our former players and workers took us to the LMC over the issue of money we owe them.
“You know we have been battling with those issue since the beginning of the season and it has been affecting us seriously. But now we are on top of it, it is no more a major issue again.”
Sources said the development has allegedly sparked panic in the club as the coaches and some of the players worry are about their futures.
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