Caps face takeover bid

Enock Muchinjo



CAPS United could be sold back to their original owner as proprietor Twine Phiri battles to bankroll the team he first bought into in 2001, according

to a highly placed insider.


There are efforts to talk Phiri into selling back the club to Caps Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, the pharmaceutical company that once owned the Harare side.


“Caps Holdings is concerned about the bad publicity that the club has been getting because we share the same name,” a source at Caps Holdings. “We would like to find a way to get the club back so that it becomes a respectable club again.”


Phiri could not be reached for comment on the takeover bid, but the source said he was not interested in the deal.


Caps have been rocked by player discontent over outstanding bonuses and signing-on fees since the start of the season.


The defending league champions are also battling to rebuild after eight key players deserted in the United Kingdom, while two other foreign stars left the club for greener pastures.


Meanwhile, there were fears that player morale could be affected by the boardroom insecurity ahead of the crunch tie away to former champions Highlanders on Sunday, who have recorded eight wins out of eight matches so far in the season.


However, the Caps players received a morale booster when they got part of the overdue payments due to them after their 3-0 win over Hwange last Sunday.


All senior players including former captain Laughter Chilembe and Method Mwanjali, who have been reported to be the most aggrieved in the payment row, took part in training this week.


Caps coach Gishon Ntini, who had faced a spate of personal attacks up until the Hwange win, said the team could not concentrate on their football.


“I do not want to talk about the problems,” Ntini said. “We are just looking forward to the game on Sunday and what I can say is we are not under pressure. Highlanders are the ones who are under pressure because they want to maintain their unbeaten run and we are one of the strongest teams if not the strongest that they have played so far.”


Highlanders coach Methembe Ndlovu said his team were the underdogs for the Sunday match.


“It’s a very big game,” he said. “We have a lot of respect for what they have achieved. No doubt we are the underdogs. When you play the champions I think you will
always be underdogs. Last season Caps were the best team after playing 30 games, this season we have been the best, but only after eight games. So at this stage they are still the best.”


Other PSL fixtures


Saturday: Lancashire Steel v Dynamos (Baghdad), Railstars v Black Rhinos (Luveve), Mwana Africa v Motor Action (Trojan).


Sunday: Chapungu v Buymore (Ascot), Shabanie Mine v Zimbabwe Saints (Maglas), Hwange v Monomotapa (Hwange), Shooting Stars v Masvingo (Rufaro).