What you need to know:
- No More I Love You’s. Express is red, so is Valentine’s but it was all blue at Wankulukuku with the sacking of coach Wasswa Bbosa yesterday.
Express and Wasswa Bbosa have been long time partners but ironically chose Valentine’s Day, yesterday, to part ways.
The chinks in their love story had started to show right at the start of this season but the bitter split was sparked off by Bbosa’s reported altercation with club chairman Kiryowa “KK” Kiwanuka over the weekend.
Dramatic scenes ensued toward midday yesterday as a vexed Bbosa stormed out of an impromptu meeting summoned by his Express chief executive Isaac Mwesigwa in the VIP area of Wankulukuku stadium.
Mwesigwa had Bbosa’s sacking letter in a white envelope emblazoned with the club crest but as the coach left, he only had his red training kit in hand. Bbosa had got wind of his impending sack through this paper’s exclusive story the previous evening but was still confident of carrying on.
With his mood seemingly hazy, Bbosa let his deputies Hassan Mubiru and Ayub Balyejusa take the 10 reserve players through the morning drills as he waited for Mwesigwa. The senior team, set to face Busoga United in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League on Friday at Kakindu Stadium in Jinja City, was barred from the morning training.
Letting out the dirty linen
In the heated meeting, which Daily Monitor followed as a fly on the wall, a boastful Mwesigwa asserted his authority.
“Some of you behave as though you own the club. You bypass me to talk to the board yet I’m supposedly the link. You have created divisions in the team and there is unnecessary fighting,” he said, speaking in Luganda, in a veiled attack directed at Bbosa.
Colliding with Mwesigwa aside, Bbosa is said to have also asked for the axing of physical conditioning coach Hellen Buteme “because Express doesn’t need fitness to thrive.”
But Buteme reportedly received the backing of KK, who is also the Attorney General.
Mwesigwa unearthed more rot at the league and Cecafa Kagame Cup champions.
“This sort of behaviour was absent when we did well to win two trophies last season. I don’t fight anyone because I’m not interested in any of your jobs. Mind you, none of you can also do my job. We don’t need to be friends to work together. I have tried my level best to keep the team sailing.”
It was then that Mwesigwa revealed the cardinal sin that saw Bbosa axed for the third time despite delivering league success after a nine-year wait for the Red Eagles.
“Coach Bbosa refused the players to train and refused to meet me as the CEO preferring to take his grievances to the board. I’m in charge of everything at the club and I can decide who leaves and who stays. The chairman just asks for the progress,” he said.
Mwesigwa laid down the marker for other club legends like Godfrey Nyora, former player and coach now a member of the technical team, boldly informing them that the years they influenced matters at Wankulukuku is now long gone.
Before the meeting became chaotic forcing Bbosa to flee, he had asked Mwesigwa whether he doesn’t feel ashamed that a club as big as Express can lack balls, allowances and decent meals.
“Pay my money and I leave,” Bbosa shouted as he rose to his feet and tempers flared, to which Mwesigwa retorted: “Come for it tomorrow.”
Bbosa had reportedly renewed his contract for a year which implies he will receive a five-month compensation.
After the tell-as-it-is meeting that lasted about 35 minutes, Mwesigwa told Daily Monitor that the board had taken a decision to relieve the coach of his duties because there were divergent views on the direction of the club as seen in team performance and the coach’s behaviour outside the pitch.
James Odoch (hitherto Bbosa’s deputy) and David Kiwanuka (goalkeeping coach) was thrust into the fray.
Odoch, a former Express star, must resuscitate Express from the fifth slot in the table with 29 points – 10 points behind leaders Vipers and seven off second-placed KCCA.
The Express legend has an uphill task of harmonising the dressing room.
Coaches since 2010
James Odoch 2022–
Wasswa Bbosa 2020-22
G. Ssimwogerere 2019
Kefa Kisala 2018
Shafiq Bisaso 2017
D. Bamweyana 2017
Matia Lule 2015-16
Wasswa Bbosa 2014
Wasswa Bbosa 2014
Sam Ssimbwa 2013
Frank Anyau 2013
Moses Basena 2012-13
Sam Ssimbwa 2010-12