Royal AM players are not happy with the gesture made by the club owner Shauwn Mkhize and chairman Andile Mpisane of bringing their winning bonus on the field soon after winning the KZN derby.
The flamboyant business family thought it was a great idea to flaunt the cash soon after their 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United, but they achieved the opposite; demoralise and humiliate the players.
In a match remembered in the history of Royal AM, the hosts took a late lead at the Chatsworth Stadium through Sepana Letsoalo in the 71st minute, having controlled the game for just over an hour. The lead was short-lived as Zukile Kewuti scored for Maritzburg United fifteen minutes later.
In a typical Royal AM fashion, the John Maduka led team retook the lead in extra time to secure the historic KZN derby points.
Soon after the whistle went, the club owner Mkhize and her youthful son, who serves as chairman and player of the club, emerged from the stands, with the latter holding a case full of two hundred dollar notes.
Tension was evident on the field as other players voiced their concern over the gesture, which is unusual in professional football. Hands were being thrown back and forth as the players tried to convey their message to their bosses peacefully.
One player in particular who was not happy with the incident was Tshidiso Monamodi. He could be heard saying, “Coach, talk to them (MaMkhize and Son) not to bring it (money) here, and they mustn’t bring it here.”
Disgruntled voices could be heard in the background as players sounded their dissatisfaction with the move.
Sources within the club revealed the players’ morale is no longer the same, and they are looking at ways to communicate to their management about the way they want to be treated as professionals.
Failure to pay players
Earlier last month, the club made headlines after failing to pay their bloated wage bill resulting from the merging of Bloemfontein Celtic and Royal AM. However, the club owner refuted the claims and attributed the reports to lack of information by the journalists and the work of detractors.
Buying Bloemfontein Celtic
MaMkhize bought the Premier Soccer League status of Bloemfontein Celtic after she lost court cases to take her team from the second to the first division.