Following the dispute over his contract with Zimbabwean outfit Caps United, coach Sean Connor is accusing the club of abusing him emotionally since they still owe him salary. The Irish coach claims they 'kicked' him out of the club and country unfairly and that players lost on purpose to get him fired.
United terminated Connor’s contract in August 2012, and the coach decided to take his matter to arbitration. It was later discovered that Connor had a fixed contract with United, a contract which was paying him a basic salary of USD$ 4,000 per month, and a winning bonus of USD$ 400 that was supposed to be reviewed last month.
Connor’s contract was terminated because the management at Caps United was not happy with the results produced by the team while he was still in charge. He confessed to Goal.com that some players didn’t give him 100 percent when he was still coaching at United.
“Yes, it’s true that the players didn’t play their best football, and didn’t listen to what I was telling them as their coach. They just wanted to sabotage me and my job,” Connor told Goal.com.
He also revealed that there was no support whatsoever from United management, and he believes that the management didn’t like him from the first day he signed with the team. In six games the successful Zimbabwe club failed to win a match.
“I spoke with the management, telling them that some of the players are just losing games on purpose, but they didn’t do anything about it. I then received different impressions and treatment from the management. I feel they didn’t like me also, and for that they decided to terminate my contract,” he said.
The Irish coach wanted to extend his experience in Africa, but was fired early without a golden handshake, and he requested the club give him USD$ 122 000 as part of the settlement, but United could only offer him $15 000. However Connor claims that Caps United still owe him USD$ 90 000. He is waiting for the court to decide on his issue, and admitted that he is struggling financially as he awaits the decision, after moving to neighbouring country South Africa.
“They still owe me USD$ 90 000, and I have been struggling financially. They just need to give me what belongs to me, and I will walk away,” said Connor.
Connor revealed to Goal.com that he feared for his life while coaching the Zimbabwean outfit, as he received a lot of threats from some members of management, players as well as the fans.
“I was threatened when I was still a coach, even after they terminated my contract. I thought they were going to silence me forever, but I am glad I managed to leave Zimbabwe for South Africa,” he told Goal.com.
Connor is hoping to make a comeback to football, after his legal proceedings. He said that he still has a future in football, despite struggling to come to terms with African soccer culture such as the belief in black magic.
“I am hoping to continue with my coaching career, but I am not sure if I will ever return to Zimbabwe. I will wait and see where the legal proceedings take me, and how far this case would go, but the next step is definitely finding another team to coach, after this whole issue is resolved,” he said.
Connor will only leave South Africa for his native land if he gets what he believes he deserves.
“It will depend on the court case I have against Caps United. I can’t really say when, because the decision hasn’t been made as yet, but I will go home to recharge my batteries,” said Connor.
The former Birmingham City press officer and Galway United (Irish league) manager, coached non league teams in England and small clubs in the United States before trying his hand in Zimbabwe.