The ovation of Ekiti United’s first appearance in the Nigeria National League, NNL Super 8 playoff recently concluded in Enugu has taken the shy away of many troubles bedeviling the club.
Much has been said about Ekiti United’s success in the just concluded 2020-21 season but this success wouldn’t have been achieved without the extra effort of the players.
The poor handling of the club by those saddled with the day-to-day running of the football club has left the main actors (players) groaning for what is due to them.
Few days ago, a report surfaced online “Mass Exodus Hit Ekiti United” and many wondered what may have led to the report despite the team finishing second in the group B1 of the Southern Conference which guaranteed the team a place in the NNL Super 8 playoff.
No team performs well without the proper welfare of players no matter how good the players are but the reverse is the case for Ekiti United with poor managerial style.
The team was rocked with issues of poor welfare package and been shortchanged by those in charge of the club.
Despite the huge amount of money given to the team to prosecute the 2020-21 season, the team still fell short of owing players over 10 match bonuses.
The management is yet to give an account as to why players were been owed these bonuses with the huge amount of money from the State Government, under the leadership of Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Questions are still been asked by football stakeholders in Ekiti why the management has failed to address these issues of owing players match bonuses and subjecting the team to poor welfare most especially on their travels.
Most of the players opined that it was their extra effort that led the team to finish second in the table and also featured in the Super 8.
Meanwhile, the team Super 8 play-off was rocked with controversies of matching fixing which led to their six nil bashing in the hand of Shooting Stars, a team that couldn’t beat Ekiti United in both fixtures (home and away) in the NNL regular season.
PLAYERS DRAFTED FOR THE FIXTURE (SHOOTING STARS)
The question football enthusiasts in the State kept on asking till today is, why would experienced players like Isiaka Olawale, Bakare Emmanuel, Kehinde Olajuyin, and stand-in Captain, Ebuka Anthony, Kamoru Adebari were benched during such a crucial match. It has been rumored that Ebuka was injured, the reason for his exclusion. However, investigating further, an in-house reliable source affirmed that Ebuka was hale and hearty that day.
This, to a very large extent, is a testament to speculations from football experts in the country establishing the fact that the team management was bribed to allow such a shameful which shows the passion and love that has been continuously shown by fans to the team was abruptly cut short.
Misappropriation of the 11million naira given to the team to prosecute the Super 8 play-off in Enugu with no success achieved which no one is asking about and players still been owed backlog of match bonuses is a puzzle seeking clarification.
How come the management board of Ekiti United is still owing players despite the huge financial support from the State Government.
If the board were competent enough, why waste the fund allotted for the welfare of the team or worst still, direct the money to private pockets?
On the premise of all these undeniable facts, the management should be probed and eventually be sacked.
This should behoove on the amiable Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who has a passion for the development of Sport in the State to raise an investigative committee to verify all these facts, including the amount, Shooting Stars paid to bribe the management, establish other truths and apportion the necessary measures.