Former players of the Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club which metamorphosed into the Heartland Football Club have called on the government to sack the present handlers of Heartland FC if there is nothing they can do to salvage the team from its present state.
They made the call Monday in a Press briefing at the Aladimma Shopping Complex, Owerri while addressing members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in the state.
The spokesman of the players and a former African Continental Bank (ACB) player. Obinna Obiaka went down memory lane narrating the exploits of the team in it’s hey days as he bemoaned the state of the club now
“It has never happened in the history of the club that it could start any league season this way losing three straight games conceding nine goals and scoring three goals sign posting relegation,” he bemoaned.
He regretted that the former players has the best of skills to reposition the team at all levels and wondered why no attempt has been made to tap into their wealth of experience.
In his words, “how many times have they called on Kanu Nwankwo to say we need a general manager for instance yet other people from Europe are calling him to tap from his experience? If they can’t put us there why don’t they pry our brains,” he queried.
Obiaka decried the poor management style of the handlers which he said is not only mediocre, conflicting but counterproductive and raised the question, “who is in charge of Heartland FC, who runs the Club”.
According to reports the Commissioner for Sports and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly have been fingered to be calling the shots in the team as arrow heads are just rookies who do not know their left from their right.
Other issues thrown up as bedeviling the team includes financial impropriety which does not allow the funds to be utilized judiciously. They cited some examples.
According to the spokes, there were no pre-season matches; screening continued till the start of the league, the club has only 10 footballs for training, no camp, no training pitch; organizational structure completely destroyed negating due process and division of labour.
He went on, “do you know that the club registered only 15 players for the game, have you ever heard that before, can you imagine the risk? The new management went to reopen an old case relating to transfer of two players which was almost laid to rest and trumpeted that matter is settled without consulting those on the saddle who should know. Now the matter has resurfaced again.”
Some of the players based in Europe like Tony Nwaigwe, two times Nigeria’s highest goal scorer, phoned in to contribute on how to salvage the club (watch out for another report). They expressed their concern that as critical stakeholders who birthed the present team, it hurts to see the team go into extinction through bad management.
Those present at the briefing include Collins Amadi aka Zigima, Barr. Ifeanyi Dike-Legal Adviser and Vice Chairman, Imo Football Association, Ebere Ojukwu aka Bonker, Chukky Sampson, Casmir Mbachu and Tony Nwaigwe.