It has indeed been a classic case of ‘their word against mine’.
Despite reports that he has finally been paid following a sit-in protest over unpaid bonuses after the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, Spanish coach Gerard Nus, one of Ghana’s assistants at the tournament, insists he is still yet to be settled by the Football Association or the Ministry of Sports.
“Those reports that say I have been paid are lies. I have not been paid completely, at all,” Nus told Goal on Wednesday.
The former Liverpool backroom staffer, together with UK-based fitness coach Jamie Lawrence, was brought in on the request of then Black Stars coach Avram Grant. After the tournament, the duo resorted to stage a sit-in in Accra until their bonus arrears are completely paid, although Lawrence abandoned the course in February.
Officials of the ministry have since Monday told the media that the Spaniard is now good to go following a settlement last week. Somehow, Nus still disagrees.
“The sports ministry paid me something last week, but this amount is far from the amount we agreed on with the GFA when we came to work with the Black Stars at the Africa Cup.
“What happened was that the GFA gave the ministry a budget for the Afcon, and in this budget, it looks like they put us [backroom staff] on a one-time [flat] payment but we told the GFA in Gabon ‘we don’t want that system. We want a bonus system which is the same as the rest of the staff and the rest of the players’.
“This basically means that if things go well, it’s good for everyone. You get more money and that is proportionate to the team’s performance. We thought it would be in the best interest of us and the team to have that bonus system. Basically, our proposal is the same as the one we had two years ago when we went to Equatorial Guinea.”
From every indication, it is apparent that the discrepancy over the payment system has now become the trouble spot.
“I have been paid $10,000. The deputy sports minister said that is the amount that they have in their documentation to be paid to me. I said I was going to take this, but of course this is not the amount that we came to work for, so they will have to talk to the GFA. That is what they have been doing.
“On Friday, I was at the GFA office to congratulate Kwesi Nyantakyi when he came from Ethiopia and he said: ‘your money is ready, so come for it on Monday’. So I came on Monday and [GFA official] Alex [Asante] said they didn’t have money, so by Tuesday or Wednesday, everything will be sorted out, but this didn’t happen.”
Nus is, however, now willing to leave, even without the full payment, on one condition.
“My next move is to sort this thing out as quickly as possible with the GFA because at the end of the day, they offered me the job. I never wanted to go to the sports minister myself because I don’t work for the sports minister; I work for the GFA.
“The money [$10,000] I have is less than half [the amount owed me]. What we have [agreed] on with Alex now is that I could get some more money [in addition to the $10,000] plus a letter saying they will pay me the rest as soon as possible.
“[Once] they have these two things, some of the money and the letter, then I’ll be ready to leave. But now, I have not received the letter nor the money – nothing on Monday, nothing on Tuesday, nothing on Wednesday.”