The decision to offload the bulk of key players backfired on Charles Manda-led Escom United coaching panel, which was shown the exit on Tuesday after a run of uninspiring results on all fronts.
Escom chairperson Fanuel Nkhono confirmed that the executive resolved that Manda and his assistants Aubrey Nankhuni, McDonald Mtetemera and team manager Shadreck Mpesi, should be relegated to the periphery. Most Malawi clubs hardly use the word sack when actually firing coaches.
â€œI had a meeting with the guys yesterday [Monday] and I told them to step aside for the remaining three games of the first round up to the opening three games of the second round while we review their positions,â€ said Nkhono.
â€œThe situation is getting out of hand and we cannot allow it to continue deteriorating. We have lost a lot of points having lost five games, drawn five and won one. There will be no caretaker coach. Senior players Kondwani Gawani, Maupo Msowoya, Jacob Ngwira and Noel Mkandawire will be in charge of the team. They have taken charge of training before when coaches were late.â€
Sources told The Nation earlier that the Escom coaches should have gone three weeks ago.
â€œSave for chairperson Fanuel Nkhono, the whole executive was for the coachesâ€™ dismissal. He stood his ground that they should be given the benefit of the doubt until the end of the first round,â€ said the source.
In 11 TNM Super League games, Escom have only garnered eight points, languishing at the foot of the table. It is quite a reversal of fortunes for the club that missed the championship by a whisker last season.
â€œThe coaches fooled us into thinking that results would improve if we fired the players. They accused them of being rude. Only Ndaziona Chatsalira and Young Chimodzi Junior wanted to leave for various reasons,â€ said the source.
Chatsalira and Chimodzi left Escom in the pre-season alongside James Chilapondwa, Chimango Kaira, Heston Munthali, Chipiliro Jose, Innocent Phiri and Noel Mkandawire who has since been recalled.
Nankhuni yesterday confirmed the meeting discussed the teamâ€™s performance and â€œthe chairperson said they would tell us the outcome today [Tuesday].â€
In an interview also yesterday, Manda said Nkhono instructed him against taking to the press about the matter.
On allegations that his panel was being accused of pushing out the nine players, Manda said: â€œTime will come when I will spill the beans. I am an employee and not an employer to the fired players.â€