Moroka Swallows head coach Steve Komphela confirmed that his squad didn’t train for 10 days leading up to their 2-1 defeat against SuperSport United in the DStv Premiership.
After luring Komphela to Dobsonville Stadium, Swallows, who were notably suffering financially last season, secured several high-profile players to the club.
The likes of Andile Jali, Keanan Phillips, Dumisani Zuma, Tshegofatsa Mabasa, Gabadinho Mhango, Bongani Sam and Letshane Phalane were among the new arrivals.
It spurred optimism of the ‘new revival’, as the club returned to the Moroka Swallows brand from Swallows FC – but the off-the-field problems have persisted.
A staff member informed the iDiski Times paper team before their clash against Orlando Pirates that no pre-match camp had taken place and that frustrations were creeping in over non-payments.
It is understood that some personnel have been without their salary for two months, which eventually led to the players’ downing tools after the Original Soweto Derby – which Kompehla confirmed following their defeat to Matsatsantsa.
“You try your best to solve the situation, try to be part of the solution,” he said after the match.
“I could’ve taken the easy decision to say ‘Hey listen, I’m stepping out of this. But do I help anybody? Do help these players, do I help the team? No.
“Now this is what was happening with us every day – you come to training, you report for training. I’m there 8:30, whatever challenges we try to solve, it doesn’t [get solves], players go back [home], come again the next day.
“Every day, every day! You can go to my family and ask them, not even a single day I have not been at work because they’ll also be surprised and shocked to hear that ’10 days you guys have not been training but will be leaving morning every day, coming back in the evening’.
“I do my job as a professional. And your conscience will tell you that this environment… MD-2 we were here, I have to come to Dobsonville here for training. Then you come here for training, you try solve a problem, you can’t solve it, you go back home.
“You are helpless, you can’t do anything because players tell you that ‘No. no, no, we are not training’. What do you do?”
Komphela, though, insisted that they honoured the fixture in respect of the game instead of also boycotting to play on saturday.
“Then I had to send a voice note to say ‘everybody has to report for duty the next day, we need to find a way because we cannot’,” he explained.
“Because to be honest with you it would’ve been bad if we did not honour or something worse than this happens. Okay, the result is bad but do you want to tell that it could’ve gone worse than this?
“I think in the past there was a match where Santos got three points from us and we did not honour the fixture, it happened in the past, it can’t happen again. We need to respect the game and those who value the game. So we take a bashing, trying to protect the game that everybody else tries to protect. But you’re getting a lashing…
“I could’ve taken the easy way out to say ‘No, no, no. Okay, cancel the match or I’m not coming to the match, and it’s an easy way out. But try solve the problem.”
Tebogo Monyai, vice president of Safpu, confirmed the issues behind the scenes at the Birds Nest: “It is true,” said Monyai when asked by iDiski Times about the non-payment of players at Swallows.
“Our president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, had a meeting with the club, so we are aware of the situation.”