Game ON! with BENEDICT TEMBO
LUSAKA Dynamos sent jitters in top flight soccer last year when they assembled the best players locally and on the continent.
The club also demonstrated its ambition of winning the 2017 title by luring massively experienced Patrick Phiri to take charge of the star-studded squad.
All seemed rosy at Dynamos because the club could even afford to turn down offers from clubs outside the country which wanted some of its players such as Joseph Ochaya and Chris Mugalu, among others.
This is the club which had the biggest coaching bench in the MTN Super Division.
Besides Phiri, they were other coaches such as Mohamed Fathy, Stanley Mutinta, Ronald Mukosha, Machi Janza, Sipho Mumbi and Ian Bakala.
The latter two were youth coaches but found themselves on the bench of the senior team.
Veteran administrator Simataa Simataa was roped in as chief executive officer.
The arrival of Simataa signaled serious intentions by the club to comply with club licencing regulations.
As the season wore on, the club also brought in two Spanish coaches to spice their coaching bench with European expertise with Erick Kulu as an interpreter.
Things began to fall apart when Simataa was asked to leave although the club did not divulge the real reasons for his exit.
Phiri and Mutinta have since left for Nakambala Leopards while Fathy is at Napsa Stars.
But this season has exposed the reality at Dynamos as the financial prowess for which it was famed has turned out to be a mask.
The club is hardly affording to pay its players, including the money it owes Phiri for the last seven months of 2017 and Fathy.
Fathy has not moved out of one of the apartments owned either by the club or one of its directors as ransom for the unpaid dues.
The club also has nine active cases at FIFA over unpaid dues and it is just a matter of time when the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) will be ordered to deal with the matter.
While locally, FAZ may deal with the matter with kid gloves by using its discretion, time will come when FIFA will put its foot down.
It is either Dynamos has to pay or FIFA will pay all the aggrieved parties by deducting from the grant it gives FIFA.
When Dynamos started bringing in players from east Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, I initially thought it was a business decision.
Apart from targeting the league title which the team has never won, Dynamos should have taken advantage of the players it had exposed to the Super Division, one of the most competitive in Africa by selling the hot cakes.
Surprisingly, Dynamos turned away suitors for Ochaya and Mugalu who had attracted interest from local and international clubs.
Dynamos should have accepted the money from the highest bidders and used it to re-invest in the club and sort out some financial obligations.
But that is now a lost opportunity as about eight players who given written notice to leave the club because of not being paid.
The players are taking advantage of their right to leave if they are not paid two months consecutively.
Cletus Chama Chota (Simba, Tanzania), Twiza Chaibela (Kabwe Warriors) and Simon Mulenga (Nakambala) may have left by giving notice to the club for not being paid.
The club’s indebtness is said to be in the region of U$700,000 to US$800,000.
This is a very big dilemma for the Dynamos’ top brass.
The question is: Why this club alone?
Game ON! with BENEDICT TEMBO