‘Management ‘forced dead players’ on me’
Less than 24 hours after he was sacked as technical adviser of Warri Wolves for poor performance, Coach Evans Ogenyi has blamed the club’s management for the team’s situation in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Ogenyi was sacked after Warri Wolves’ goalless draw with struggling Jigawa Golden Stars on Wednesday in Ozoro.
The club’s Chief Executive Officer, Etu Moses, deplored the current position of Warri Wolves despite the management’s huge financial motivation of the side.
The team’s assistant coach, Paul Offor, is now in charge of the club on interim basis, pending the appointment of a new technical adviser.
“We have relieved Evans Ogenyi of his job as the team’s technical adviser,” Moses said.
But coach Ogenyi fired back yesterday alleging that he was a victim of a ‘poor managerial system.’
“I want to start by saying that success and failure of any organisation lies with the leadership,” Ogenyi said in his message to The Guardian. “I am not the problem of Warri Wolves but the chairman, who runs the club like a military or sole administrator.
“The Chairman Moses Etu called me while I was in Lobi Stars last season after sacking a coach he employed less than three months. I came over and tinkered with the team, got two away wins against Nasarawa United FC and Adamawa United, had three away draws against MFM FC, Kano Pillars and Akwa United. We finished last season in the seventh position.
“Some of our key players left at the end of last season because of irregular payment of salary and poor motivation. From last season till date, the technical crew had not been paid any match bonus as motivation, but Etu claimed he borrowed money to run the club. When COVID-19 broke out, and other clubs were paying their players and coaches, he told us that his season ended in May 2020, and his new season starts from November 2020 for 2020/2021 season.
“What happened to the salary of April to October for the players and officials? Etu did not pay. We worked, played friendlies and attended a pre-season tournament in Ijebu-Ode in October last year. Etu later said that government just released money and he paid only for May 2020 and November to February this year.”
Coach Ogenyi, who had worked with Enyimba, Lobi Stars, Nasarawa United, Ocean Boys, Bayelsa United, Jigawa Golden Stars continued: “The players camp in Warri is noting to write home about. The club was operating without a nurse and doctor. At a point, Shehu Dikko (Chief Operating Officer of NPFL) queried Moses Etu after listening to one of my interviews on the medical situation at Warri Wolves. It was just recently that Etu employed a nurse. He does not clear players nor pay for loan services, and all these discourage quality players from coming to Warri Wolves. His highhandedness took the club to relegation three seasons ago. He doesn’t have good working relationship with referees and other match officials.
“I saved him from being attacked in Makurdi last week by a player, Jonah Abutu, whom he dropped without paying him off. Another player, Charles Ashimene also attacked him in Ozoro after our match with Akwa United two weeks ago. He is always harsh and forces players who have nothing to do with the club on the technical crew.
“Even Goodluck Onamado, whom he recruited and made team Captain almost left for Lobi Stars because of poor welfare. Other old players Moses Etu recruited like Efe Yari John, Julius Obido, Michael Okoyoh and Richard Ochayi are still there, but he sacked Moses Omodemuke for unjustifiable reason after he scored against MFM FC in Lagos. I had already brought in few players including Jimmy Iteji from Lobi Stars Feeder team, Torkuma Gyenkwe (MFM FC) and Jackson Ere and few experienced attackers like Uche Ihuarulam until the transfer window will be open to fortify the team”.
I have even invited John Lawrence, goalkeeper Musa Newman and an attacker, Kingsley, from MFM FC only to be told immediately after the match against Jigawa Golden Stars that I have been sacked.
“I endured a lot at Warri Wolves because Moses Etu did not meet the promises he made to me. I was finally presented with an official car last week and asked to step aside this week.
In my first season, I was under paid. I have series of evidence to buttress what I am saying. If Warri Wolves must grow, the government has to bring in true professionals to run the club. Politics is killing the club,” Ogenyi, who holds FIFA WIAWA Advance Coaching certificate and CAF A License stated.
Efforts to speak with Moses Etu yesterday were unsuccessful, but the club’s Media Officer, Jarcok Ujevwe faulted Coach Ogenyi’s claims. He said: “For instance, there is a functional medical department in Warri Wolves and I doubt if anybody forced players on him.”
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