Flames striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango has hit back at South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Bloemfontein Celtic for terminating his contract, blaming the club for delaying his contract renewal and refusing to meet his salary increment demands.
On Monday, Celtic announced it had released Mhango with immediate effect after being disappointed with his decision to sign a pre-contract at another PSL outfit, Bidvest Wits.
The club claimed that the forward pledged his commitment to extend his stay during discussions they held for several months.
“We are stunned by Mhango’s pre-contract signing with Wits after having numerous discussions with him and his agent for more than a year,” a statement posted on the club’s website www.bloemfonteincelticfc.co.za, reads partly.
But in a telephone interview from South Africa on Tuesday, Mhango dismissed Celtic assertions, saying the club has been dilly-dallying to offer him a new deal because of his lengthy injury.
“The club refused to offer me a new contract because officials said I was injured and asked me to wait until I recover. I felt this was an insult because it showed that my injury rendered me useless and not worth a new contract,” he said.
The statement further said the club released him immediately because it felt that the former Big Bullets forward would not be committed during the remaining six months of his career.
“We have done everything in our power to keep Mhango, but we are left with no option but to let him go with immediate effect because he will no longer be 100 percent committed to the team,” the statement said.
To this, Mhango responded: “I am a professional footballer and I respect Celtic because they have belief in me. There is no way I could have been less committed.”
He said after his recovery and discussions to renew his contract had started, he asked for undisclosed salary increment which the club felt was exorbitant.
Mhango was, however, quick to point out that Bidvest has promised more than the salary he demanded at Celtic.
“What it means is that Bidvest values me more than Celtic so I had no choice but to join them,” he said.
Though claiming that he has not officially been told about his contract termination, he said he was not bitter because he did not flout any rules in signing the Bidvest pre-contract.
“I have just been told that I should no longer go for training. I am not bitter at all because I did everything legally. I just hope that the club will pay me perks for the remainder of the contract. My agent is working on that right now,” he said.
Mhango signed for Celtic in 2013 after impressing at Bullets with his impressive goal scoring ability. n