Players of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Sunshine Stars, are planning on dragging the club to court over unpaid eight months salaries and 20 months unpaid match allowances.
Recall that the club escaped relegation from the Nigerian league topflight football after fighting tenaciously till the end in a very challenging 2020/2021 NPFL season while Ondo State Govenor, Rotimi Akeredolu, sacked the Ondo State Football Agency led by Tajudeen Akinyemi, which managed the club till March, 2021, and replacing them with a three-man committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa to reposition the club.
But, despite winning their last league game to secure safety in the topflight, the club was hit with a mass exodus of players following the state government’s inability to pay their wages and match bonuses.
A Sunshine player, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the players are now planning on dragging the club to court.
“It is true that we are dragging the club to court and this will be happening any moment from now because we are already working on it and you never can tell how soon it will be.
“We just hope we get justice because they’ve been promising us that they will pay us the arrears anytime they pay our current salaries but they have not been doing that and that is a breach of agreement.
The player noted that, “for instance, I am being owed about N600,000 match bonus that I have not been paid but we hope they will listen to us. Even our last game of the season the Deputy Governor promised to triple that particular game match bonus and we are yet to receive it”.
Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, said the state government is not standing aloof on the matter, stressing that the state government, led by Oluwarotimi Akeredolu will do everything possible to address their plight.
Aiyedatiwa who spoke through his Press Secretary, Kenneth Odusola-Stevenson, said, “you will recall that the club was almost going on relegation, but through the help of the governor who saw it wise to put committee headed by the deputy governor together, they were able to motivate those players and they escaped relegation.”
When contacted, the Chairman, Ondo State House of Assembly House Committee on Information, Youth and Sports Development, Akogun Olugbenga Omole said he does not want to speak on the development.