Desperate times call for desperate measures. Boxed into the corner, financially handicapped SC Villa playmaker Emmanuel Kalyowa has let out a loud moan to powers that be to help ease his worrying situation.
Kalyowa took to his Facebook page and cried out to Fufa; “Imagine serving a club with debts of 10 months and going through this Covid-19 period with just 5kg of rice from Fufa only to hear that a group of fellow players received a salary of two months.”
Believed to be speaking on behalf of his soft-spoken colleagues, Kalyowa told Daily Monitor that the situation is now beyond his control. He is now seeking his salary entitlements totaling to Shs15m.
“I feel a lot of pain due to the untold financial stress I am going through at the moment. The five kilogrammes of rice I got from Fufa are long finished. I take care of my parents and girlfriend but I am afraid I haven’t been paid for 10 months and I don’t have any other job,” a crestfallen Kalyowa revealed.
Villa’s financial woes
According to Shawn Mubiru, the Villa CEO, the club is currently wallowing financially because of limited revenue and no sponsors.
“We acknowledge the crisis at the club and that is why we are paying contracted players in phases. We no longer get gate revenues but we are working on all avenues to pay every player.
“I personally talked to Kalyowa in my office when his contract expired in January and I told him things will get better. There are other players with similar issues but we are striving to overcome the situation,” Mubiru said.
Villa coach Edward Kaziba is already resigned to losing well-established Ambrose Kirya and David Owori, who may join free agent Bashir Mutanda and KCCA new recruit Charles Lwanga on their way out of Villa Park.
Fufa speak out
There was a ray of hope for most Uganda Premier League (UPL) clubs when Fifa dished out a universal solidarity grant of $1m (Shs3.7b), with an additional $500,000 (Shs1.8b) grant specifically for women’s football. This was to help deal with financial distress caused by the pandemic. Fufa Communications manager Hussein Ahmed says the money is yet to come but the guidelines to use it have been sent.
“The money is coming for the continuity of football and will benefit the clubs. Instead of crying out on social media, Kalyowa and colleagues should come to Fufa and report to the dispute resolution chamber for a remedy,” said Ahmed.
Same old story
There are media reports that Busoga United players were also faulting their bosses over going months without pay. Maroons and Onduparaka are also reportedly trudging in abject poverty.