In the aftermath of ECCO City Greens’ relegation from the be-MOBILE Premier League details of a fractured dressing room, backstabbing and rumour-mongering have emerged as the cause of their downfall.
Mamojadiskie, as ECCO are affectionately known in football circles, went through a number of lows on their way to relegation.
In vain, ECCO tried every trick in the land in a bid to avoid relegation ranging from firing coaches to releasing raucous players. But all the tricks failed.
All the ideas of steering the sinking ship to the shoreline were being brought and implemented by the management. It is against this backdrop that the management is of the belief that supporters were not doing enough to ensure that the club survives.
Addressing a poorly attended elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Supa Ngwao hall in Francistown recently reelected ECCO chairperson Stainley Mababa accused supporters of not attending games in numbers.
“You (supporters) literally abandoned games throughout the season. This is despite the fact that every ECCO supporter understands that the club survives on gate takings,” lamented Mababa when addressing a group of less than 30 supporters.
At one point, ECCO were forced to take their home games to Serowe. This was one of the many initiatives which ECCO put into implementation go ensure that games were attended, the AGM heard over the weekend.
“Throughout the season, we had a cumulative income of P148 000,” said Mababa with sorrow written all over his face. On average, Mababa lamented, ECCO made P4 900 per game.
And this is despite the fact that ECCO had an expenditure of P15 000 per trip to Gaborone to honour a single match, he said. He also accused supporters of selectively treating players – a development that resulted in some feeling that they were unwanted at the club.
“Some players were receiving transport fares from certain supporters while others could not get anything. The development demoralised some players to the core,” he said. And most of the supporters stopped their monthly subscriptions.
Lack of subscriptions resulted in the club failing to have any other source of income besides gate takings which were also low, he said. The situation worsened to an extent that the club could not pay players their monthly salaries in time, said Mababa.
A number of fans, who attended the AGM, promised to do everything within their power to ensure that the team bounced back to the elite league as quickly as possible.