Gor suffers on pitch as internal wrangles rage
Gor Mahia is a wounded team and fans are left wondering whether it’s the end of their dominance in local football.
The once mighty club, who boast of a record 19 titles, are increasingly losing ground in the top flight league amidst low morale among players who have in the recent past boycotted training over a default by the management to pay their salaries of up to five months.
Only three days after being unceremoniously eliminated from the CAF Champions League by Algerian outfit CR Belouizdad 8-1 on aggregate, Gor’s floundering fortunes continued in a 4-3 defeat by Kariobangi Sharks in the league front Sunday.
This was the same day that Gor unveiled Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto to replace Brazilian Roberto Oliviera Goncalves but the move has been greeted with little enthusiasm by players who have been telling anyone who cares to listen that they are starving.
“Hiring a coach without looking at the underlying problem relating to our salaries won’t help the team’s course. Obviously, it is too much to ask for the players to perform on empty stomachs,” said a distraught Gor player who declined to be named.
Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier has lately been non-committal on the plight of the players although he has in the past declared that the prevailing situation is because that the team has yet to receive funds from the sponsors Betsafe.
But sources within the team have intimated that Rachier is to blame for the problems afflicting players for opposing the endorsement of the deal between Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and StarTimes in which the club is expected to gain a substantial amount in form of grants that would have helped offset their salaries.
In the meantime, following the weekend results, the defending champions sit 11th position on the table with three points from three matches played.
Meanwhile, the team of the season, so far, remains KCB who maintained their hundred percent record at the top of the standings at the weekend.
The Bankers who are enjoying each and every moment of the season edged out Bidco 1-0 in Kasarani on Saturday to continue clinging on to the top of the standings with 18 points from six matches.
In contrast, it was not a good weekend for AFC Leopards who earlier enjoyed joint leadership with KCB,
Ingwe felt the full weight of Wazito who beat them by a solitary goal and for a team which had been in ascendancy, it must go back to the drawing board to haul itself up from the fifth position.
Elsewhere, Sofapaka were left purring at their fortress in Wundanyi following a 4-2 win over the league tail-enders Mathare United, a result which catapulted Batoto ba Mungu, under new coach Mike Mururi, from 10th to the eighth position in the log with seven points from six outings.