Now coach jumps the sinking Swallows ship
Can it get any worse for Moroka Swallows?
Amid the club’s strained finances and internal problems, coach Ian Gorowa has apparently jumped the sinking ship.
City Press has gathered that Gorowa did not return to the club this week since the team’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of fellow relegation candidates African Warriors in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State, last Saturday.
The loss was Swallows’ sixth straight and the 13th of the campaign in 20 games. They remain at the foot of the 16team NFD table.
Gorowa’s sudden departure could not have come at a worse time for the Birds, who have 10 games left to rescue their status in the National First Division (NFD).
Sources at the club told City Press that Swallows boss Leon Prins rolled up his sleeves this week to help assistant coach Goodman Mazibuko and goalkeeper trainer Greg Etafia to prepare the team for today’s fixture against Milano United at the Dobsonville Stadium.
Gorowa promised to respond to City Press about his situation but failed to do so, despite numerous phone calls and messages.
Prins said his presence at the team’s training should not be interpreted as interfering because he was there “to see for myself on what was working and what wasn’t”.
He refused to comment on the coaching situation, apart from saying there were some strategic movements within the club. “The coach will be involved,” said Prins without elaborating.
As for his involvement at the club despite resigning from his position as chief executive in November last year, Prins said: “I tendered my resignation, but I’ve been very much involved in the background. I reinstated myself and I don’t care who says what because I have had reputational damage, as everybody has blamed me in the 16 years I’ve been the CEO of this club. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but I am here to save this club.”
Prins admitted that Swallows were faced with a mountain of challenges.
“It is very difficult from being a [Premier League] team to campaigning in the NFD. We don’t have the kind of money we used to have [while in the Absa Premiership].
Some players told City Press they were still owed about three months’ salaries and alleged that there was no direction at the club.
“We have largely paid full salaries last month [in January]. We still owe a little bit,” admitted Prins.
On the field, there are 30 points to play for in the remaining matches and the Birds must start winning, as they teeter on the brink of another slip to the lower ranks since their relegation from the premier division last season.
Swallows, who will be without suspended goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe today, should at least make use of home advantage, since they have registered their only two league victories of the season in Soweto.
Today they meet a Milano side that gave them a hot klap (5-0) in Cape Town last month.
In an NFD fixture pitting a mid-table side against one nearer the bottom of the pile, struggling Vasco Da Gama host AmaZulu at Parow Park in Cape Town.
Both matches kick off at 3.30pm.
AWOL? Swallows coach Ian Gorowa is said to have stepped down
RETURNING BOSS Moroka Swallows CEO Leon Prins