Amid allegations of unpaid salaries, Jomo Sono has acknowledged that some of his players are still owed salaries for the months of May and June.
This recent revelation has caused a stir with some of the club’s players speaking out on national radio, while the South African Football Players Union (Safpu) has been just as vocal.
Nonetheless, Sono, who also doubles as head coach of Jomo Cosmos, admits that times are currently tough at the National First Division outfit following their failed bid to return to the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
“I’ll be the first chairperson that comes out to say ‘I owe you’, and, yes, we owe them for May and June,” Sono was quoted as saying by City Press.
“When we got relegated to the NFD [two seasons ago], we went down with Premier Soccer League [PSL] contracts, and we were hoping to return after one season. Most of the players were on PSL salaries, and I could not afford them. That’s why I also had to release 28 players; I simply could not afford them,” he added.
“It’s not only Jomo Cosmos that is facing problems, even big companies… every house has got its own storm, and this will pass,” he said.
One player in particular, who has been vocal on the issue of unpaid salaries is Clifford Mulenga, who revealed that the club owes him about R146 000.
“I have a contract with Cosmos until 2019, and the club owes me about R146 000. This includes short payments since October last year,” Mulenga was reported to have said.
“It is not about Clifford and Jomo because there are others who are also owed. All we are asking for is what is due to us,” he continued.
However, with regards to Mulenga’s allegations, Sono has a slightly differing version of events.
“Why is he only coming out now after I told him we won’t renew his contract? For me, this is a Yaya Toure story; he praised Pep Guardiola as (a) god at Manchester City when he was playing but turned around and said Guardiola was a bad man and a racist when he was not playing,” Sono responded.
Meanwhile, Safpu lauded Mulenga’s decision to speak up.
A clip which emerged on social media recently allegedly showed the Union being denied access to Cosmos access on the premises.
“Jomo said his door was open, but then refused us when we asked to see the players,” Safpu president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe shared.
“We are happy that people like Clifford stood up. We’ll continue exposing this, and serial offenders must be punished. For the longest time, we have called for financial fair play,” he said.
Sono though, has denied that there is any bad blood with the union and he's adamant that they are welcome to visit the club.
“Why should I fight the union (Safpu)? We have an open-door policy at Cosmos. Am I so difficult? No, I am not the arrogant person they make me out to be,” the 63-year-old concluded.