Players of Warri Wolves have again called on the Delta State government to offset their unpaid wages to help motivate them in the Glo Premier League title race.
Wolves, despite coming off a week-long strike over unpaid wages, thumped title rivals, Sunshine Stars, 3-0 with a commanding performance that saw Gbolahan Salami score a hat-trick.
Three of the influential players, who pleaded to speak with supersport.com after Saturday’s match, confirmed that they have been paid three out of six months salaries owed them but insisted that they are still unhappy with other financial obligation yet to be met by the club and its sponsor, the Delta State government.
“Most of us are family men and the major bread-winners in our family. Imagine not being paid for months. We are grateful that we have been paid three months out of the six months salaries we are owed but to be honest most of those money have gone into paying debt and tuition fees of our children,” one of the players lamented.
Another Wolves star told supersport.com: “It is not what we expected as we had high hope of receving all of our money. Unfortunately we got just three months and I personally think we will be motivated if we are paid off our money as we are still in the title race and can win this. But right now the whole team is not so happy though like they say half bread is better than none. I still think that paying us everything we are owed will motivate us to win the title.”
The third player reeled out that the cost of living is biting on him and some of the players who have wives and children to cater for as well as other dependants. “We do not have any other profession other than football. Some of us have to pay rent for the accommodation where our families live. We also have to pay tuition fees and other bills to run the home. Football is not a profession in which one can actually practice forever. That’s the reason we are calling on the government and the club to pay us our money as we are grateful for the part-payment so far.”
Already the League Management Company (LMC), which oversees the running of the top flight in Nigeria, had written to Wolves’ management to remind it of a 60-day deadline to pay up their players or face a six-point deduction. That deadline elapses on October 24.
“You are hereby reminded that the 60-day period, within which you are expected to remedy the breach, will lapse on the 24th October, 2015. Be advised that your club wull become liable to the initial deduction of six (6) points, should you fail to meet the deadline,” part of the LMC letter to Wolves read.
The LMC also urged the players of Wolves “to adhere to the grievance procedure and the rules and regulations of the league” as stated in the competition’s framework and rules which allows the players to give a 45-day notice to the club and 15 days for the LMC to resolve any dispute including financial obligation.
Players of Wolves claim they are still owed three months salaries, 115 per cent signing-on fees from last season as well as 10 league match bonuses and seven bonuses in the Caf Confederation Cup.
Warri Wolves, owned and financed by the Delta State government, are currently second in the standings of the Glo Premier League with 55 points, three behind leaders, Enyimba.