As Rangers International FC of Enugu players are being honoured on Tuesday for winning the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League, some of them have demanded for the payment of their outstanding sign-on fees.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Flying Antelopes defeated El-kanemi Warriors 4-0 on October 2, to win the competition and end their 32-year wait for silverware.
Rangers won the league with 63 points from 36 matches played, a victory that means the club has now won the league title seven times, equalling a record set by former champions, Enyimba.
Rangers won the cup in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 2016.
The players said they want the management of the team to help facilitate the release of funds for the payment of outstanding sign-on fees.
Itodo Akor, the teams’ goalkeeper, said the club had yet to pay the 2013 sign-on fees for players.
Akor, a former El-Kanemi player, added that the club’s management had yet to fulfill its promise which has dampened the spirit of the players in spite of their success.
“We are hoping that they look into this, since 2013 season, it’s not fair to us, I’m appealing to our management to please look into this and do the needful.
“With the economic situation of the country and being winner of the NPFL is not enough, we need all the motivation we can get to go far in the CAF Champions League,” he said.
In the same vein, Bitrus Dada, a midfielder, said the club owed it to them to pay up all outstanding arrears without further delay.
“By God’s grace we were able to break a jinx of 32 years, and we didn’t make any fuss that could have distracted us, we maintained our focus.
“I believe the management is working towards ensuring that all outstanding are paid, celebrating our victory will be more interesting when our bank accounts are robust,” Dada said.
Cyril Oriaku, a defender, added that the club had yet to pay three months’ salary from 2014 season.
“If I’m not mistaken, we are still being owed three months’ salary from 2014.
“I want them to look into this because I’m not happy and I believe most of my teammates share similar views too,” Mr. Oriaku said.
In reaction to the allegations, the Media Officer of the team, Foster Chime, said Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has approved the payment of the unpaid arrears.
“As I speak to you, the governor is aware and has approved payment, but due to the bureaucratic nature of government, the money has yet to hit the account of players.
“The players are aware of this, because we always give them update,” the media officer said.