MBABANE — Giants Mbabane Swallows’ dreams of securing the services of one of the continent’s finest coaches in Zimbabwean Rahman Gumbo have been blown sky high.
The former Zimbabwe national team coach has not only priced himself out of Swallows’ reach, but the local football market as well, after demanding a monthly salary of over $12 000 every month. On top of that, the highly rated coach wants a signing on fee of $8 000.
Talks between the red and white glamour giants and the coach’s agent began about three weeks ago. Yesterday, the Mbabane giants threw in the towel and made it clear that they had given up on pursuing the coach, whom they viewed as the perfect candidate to guide the team domestically and in the Africa Cup campaign.
Swallows chief executive officer Sibusiso Manana confirmed the latest development yesterday. He was, however, quick to state that it was not a train smash.
“Frankly, the coach’s demand for a monthly salary amounting to over 100 000 Emalangeni ($12 000) scared us away. It is just impractical for any local team to pay a coach so much, taking into consideration the economic status of the game here.
“As Mbabane Swallows Football Club, we have an ambition to do well not only in the country, but in Africa as well hence the team’s directors had cast their nets wide, even outside the borders of the country for a suitably qualified coach to lead the team.
“We would have loved to have a coach of Gumbo’s calibre join our technical bench, but obviously resources have ensured that we give up. We are also not blaming him for anything because the man is used to such salaries, when considering his CV and track record. He has coached the Zimbabwean national team before and that should tell you of his calibre as a coach,” Manana said.
In the meantime, the team’s technical bench currently headed by Nyanga “Crooks” Hlophe, assisted by Mduduzi Nxumalo, will continue holding the fort and will lead the team, starting with this weekend’s MTN League second round clash against Correctional Services ensemble, Green Mamba.
No immediate comment could be obtained from Gumbo’s agents at the time of going to print yesterday. Last week his agent Omega Sibanda confirmed that talks between the two parties were ongoing after Swallows had shown interest in the former FC Platinum mentor.
— Times of Swaziland