Celtic players end stay-away over pay

Max Tshabalala
Max Tshabalala

Bloemfontein Celtic players and the management reached an agreement to return to training following an intervention by the SA Football Player's Union (Safpu).

A meeting convened by Safpu was held on Saturday to find a resolution to the dispute. The players trained yesterday after going on strike over unpaid salaries.

While by late last week only eight players had not received a salary, the entire team did not pitch for training in solidarity with their teammates.

The financial situation is dire as players and office staff have not received their salaries for last month.

This was the second time in four months that the players stayed away from training with the first boycott back in April being over unpaid signing-on fees.

Owner Max Tshabalala has come out on numerous occasions to express that the club was in effect bankrupt and he was looking to sell.

Safpu president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, who chaired the meeting, feels confident that both parties have found a common ground.

"In the meeting the chairperson and the players had their opportunity to air their challenges and, in the end, a solution was found that the team goes back to training on Monday," Gaoshubelwe said.

"And I would like to thank the chairman for being frank with us about the difficult financial situation at the club. An undertaking to pay the remaining players was being taken by the club.

"The club as you know is up for sale but the problem is that buyers want the status of the club and not Celtic itself. So what would help the situation is if a sponsor can be found."

Attempts to contact Tshabalala and club chief executive Khumbulani Konco yesterday were unsuccessful as their phones were off.

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