Reports were that the outspoken trainer had been dismissed, but the club clarified that he had been asked to temporarily step aside to allow for fresh contract talks.
“The team is undergoing financial restructuring. This has been necessitated by the financial constraints facing not only the club, but also the football fraternity in Botswana,” the club said in a statement, yesterday.
“As a result of the exercise, the team is consulting its internal stakeholders, which include the head coach, to rationalise its expenses and financial obligations. As part of this internal consultation and processes, the management has excused the coach from training the team to allow conclusion of this exercise.”
Paul was appointed Notwane head coach in August and has a contract running until 2020. According to sources, the club wrote Paul on Monday proposing a salary cut.
The coach’s monthly salary were to be cut by 40%, reducing his earning from P15,000 to P9,000, which did not go down well with the former Under-23 tactician who has since sought legal advice.
“I do not want to comment much on the issue, at the moment it’s before my legal team,” said Paul who was reluctant with the details.
“They (Notwane management) communicated with me through writing on Monday and I was given just two days to respond. I believe that they should follow proper procedures and engage me in proper talks.”
When pushed further, he said he would seek assistance from the Botswana Premier League (BPL) on the matter and could escalate the issue to the Labour Office.
you have done something wrong, but I haven’t. I will be expecting that, despite not training the team, they are obliged by the contract and pay my wages including the match bonuses. I would be sending copies of their letters and the contract to the Premier League office for assistance. The issue is with my legal team so I would not want to comment further,” he said.
Pio is not new to controversy as he was engaged with yet another legal battle with Extension Gunners after he claimed P100,000 following his departure as the team’s head coach. He is also involved in yet another battle with Botswana Football Association following his dismissal as Under-23 head coach in 2016. There is another pending case with Sharps Shooting Stars.
Paul has been sidelined together with his assistant coach, Davis Kopi. The duo helped the team gain promotion into the BTC Premiership last season. Toronto will be under the tutelage of Kakale Mabechu who served as one of Pio’s assistants last season. The team is in ninth position with 10 points and face Mochudi Centre Chiefs this evening at the National Stadium.
Meanwhile, veteran striker Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping is reported to be on his way back to Sharps after a fallout with the Notwane top brass.
Jomo, who left Sharps at the end of last season, has been training with Sechaba since the start of the season. The striker has reportedly accused Notwane management of breach of contract and could be on his way to Sharps where he has spent the two previous seasons.