A mass exodus of players and coaches has began in the camp of Sunshine Stars following the Nigerian Professional Football League club’s inability to offset the outstanding salaries to their personnel, The PUNCH has learnt.
The Akure Gunners, who finished 11th in the domestic league last season, allegedly owe head coach Kabiru Dogo, who has been heavily linked with a move to Lobi Stars, three months salaries, while his assistants are owed seven months wages.
The staff of the Ondo State Football Agency are owed bulk of salaries too, our correspondent learnt.
Sunshine Stars players, our correspondent also gathered, are owed three months salaries, which has seen no fewer than five players depart the club in recent days for better fortunes elsewhere.
Omaka Anthony, Ojo Olurunleke, Ogunniyi Omojesu, Wasiu Jimoh and Jide Fatokun are some of the key players that reportedly joined new teams in the NPFL ahead of the forthcoming season scheduled to kick off between the last week of September and first week of October 2020.
The players and officials are also owed between eight and 10 match bonuses.
“More players and officials may quit Sunshine Stars if the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, does not interverne,” an official of the club said.
Reacting to the players exit, the Chairman of the Ondo State Football Agency Tajudeen Akinyemi said the services of some of the outgoing players were no longer needed.
“Ogunniyi Omojesu is not going anywhere, he has a contract with Sunshine, but the contracts of the others Wasiu Jimoh, Omaka Anthony and Jide Fatokun were not renewed.
“We are in talks with some players that will come in but that depends on the input of the new coach coming in.”
Meanwhile, Sunshine are set to appoint their former manager Gbenga Ogunbote in place of Kabiru Dogo.
Ogunbote is available for the job after his one-year contract with Lobi Stars was not renewed. He reportedly held talks with the management of the Akure-based team on Tuesday.
“Ogunbote is expected to be announced soon as coach of Sunshine Stars after holding contract talks with the club on Tuesday,” a close source to Ogunbote told The PUNCH.
The gaffer led the Akure Gunners to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League in 2012, and had also previously managed defunct Sharks FC, Shooting Stars, Giwa FC, Enyimba and Enugu Rangers, all in the NPFL.