Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, FC Ifeanyiubah, are faced with a massive exodus of players, but the Nnewi club have insisted transfers away from them ought to be properly handled.
‘The Anambra Warriors’ have held their head high on the domestic science since busting onto the big stage in 2015.
The following year, it came, saw and conquered the Federation Cup (now Aiteo Cup) to have a bite of the continental bite in 2017.
This is aside a record subsisting partnership deal with English Premier League club, West Ham United.
But these landmark achievements are on the verge of being eclipsed by the departure of top stars who are leaving the club in droves.
At the last count, SCORENigeria has scooped that no fewer than 13 first-team players have either joined other rival clubs or are in talks for a potential deal.
Checks by Scorenigeria reveal that Malian goalkeeper Drissa Bamba, Ivorian striker Seka Pascal and Traore Issif have left the club.
Wasiu Jimoh, a striker-turned-defender, John Maamo, Olamilekan Adeleye, John Huan, Tony Msonter, Medrano Taken, Ekene Awaziem are understood to have either left or negotiating with other clubs for a likely move.
There is also talks of young Malian goalkeeper Traore and Yaya Kone having terminated their contracts with FC Ifeanyiubah with Traore said to have moved to Ethiopia.
Drissa Bamba and Wasiu Jimoh were spotted at Rivers United where they have held contract talks and agreed personal terms.
Similarly, Seka Pascal, Tony Msonter, Traore Issif and Ekene Awazien are linked to a move to Enugu Rangers, a rival club in the South East, while Olamilekan Adeleye is on the cards of Akwa United.
While many believe the players planned departure is hinged on unfulfilled contractual welfare agreement as regards salaries, some of the players said they wish to pursue fresh challenges elsewhere.
Remarkably too, some of the players believe their contracts at FC Ifeanyiubah is ended, hence the need to move on.
This has left the hierarchy of the club with no other option than to embark on a fresh hunt for replacements, especially young players from the lower leagues.
“We are not opposed to players seeking career lift elsewhere. We have a policy anchored on ensuring the best for our players, but at the same time we want all transfers to be conducted in line with global standard rules”, an official said when contacted by SCORENigeria
“A situation where a club will poach a player from another club without first contacting the player’s club is not the best and does not conform with the set transfer rules.
“For instance, Kwara United wrote us, expressing interest on Wasiu Jimoh and before you open your eyes the same Jimoh we read is negotiating with another club.
“We spent N1.3m on Seka Pascal and Drissa Bamba return tickets. Seka even missed his flight so we had to pay extra money for him to fly back home.
“Rather than returning to us, they went somewhere else. We can’t stop anyone from moving to somewhere he wants, but what we want is for the right thing to be done. That is, due process to be followed.”
The FC ifeanyiubah official also admitted some of the exiting players’ contracts have expired.
By Sab Osuji