With only a game to go, drama continues to unfold at Bloemfontein Celtic’s door-step.
Following the unexpected sacking of the team’s number on goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb, management has ordered players to vacate the clubhouse.
Celtic have been experiencing financial problems for some time and the players have on several occasions boycotted training sessions over this. This happened again on Monday when players boycotted training, demanding their outstanding bonuses be paid.
In response to the boycott, the management took drastic steps, ordering players, including Tignyemb, to leave the team’s clubhouse after they refused to report for Tuesday’s training session.
“Tingyemb was told to leave the clubhouse on Tuesday morning. It’s chaos here. As the club captain, he confronted the management over unpaid player salaries or bonuses, and that didn’t sit well with the bosses,” said one of the managers who wished to remain anonymous.
“The termination of Tignyemb’s contract is harsh and has no legal basis. You can’t fire a person when he asks about his outstanding salary. It is his money and he has the right to ask for it. Our bosses have lost the plot,” the manager said, further noting other players were now boycotting training in solidarity with Tignyemb.
Last week, Celtic players decided to boycott the training sessions in solidarity with staff members who have not been paid for three months.
On Monday, the team’s management urged players to report for duty by 09:00 at Dr. Molemela Stadium or face the consequences. However, very few players were shaken by a letter sent by the management as they continued to stay away.
According to the letter signed by Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco, the team urged players to report for duty or risk not being paid end of May.
“Should you not report for duty, the club will be forced to take drastic measures with regard to your absenteeism,” Konco said.
The letter – which clearly was intended to serve as a threat to players who’ve continued to give their all despite the high level of disregard from the management – was met with scorn by supporters who pledged support for their players.
Nonetheless, Celtic management felt Tignyemb crossed the line and consequently terminated his contract with immediate effect. Tignyemb had been with Siwelele since 2008, and he served the club with distinction during his 11-year stint.
With one league game to go before the end of the 2018/19 PSL season, it remains to be seen if Celtic will reverse their decision and allow the Cameroonian goalkeeper to remain at the club.