Dike: How Heartland Management Sabotaged Me

Dike: How Heartland Management Sabotaged Me

By Sab Osuji:

Coach Alphonsus Dike has revealed to Completesportsnigeria.com what he described as his ordeal in his second stint with Heartland FC and also restated his earlier position that his efforts at rescuing the club from the clutches of relegation from the Nigeria Professional Football League were grossly sabotaged by the management of the club.


Reacting to allegations by the by the club officials that he ran the club aground, Dike said he did his best to salvage the club under the circumstances but had to throw in the towel to save his career when it became obvious that officials were not ready to change the way they do things.

"I'm sad at the turn of events in the club. I played for Heartland and coached the club before. It is on record that I was in charge when they won their last league title in 1993," Dike told Completesportsnigeria.com.

Zenith Ziva

"After that I left and since then I have coached at Katsina United and we finished second in the Super League.

"I also coached Enyimba and we played in the CAF Champions League. Later, I also coached Enugu Rangers and Nasarawa United among other clubs.

"Coming back to Heartland was for me to salvage my former team, but things were terribly done the wrong way and the officials continued to place personal interest above that of the club.

"For instance, can you imagine a situation where a member of management is the agent of some players in the team?

"Have you ever seen a situation in the Nigerian league where you sign a player and agree you will be paying him two months salaries upfront?

"Yet, I was not told about these things until when the player started to demand for the payment of his outstanding salaries, holding the team to ransom during crucial matches after he was not paid for some months.

"At that point the same management wanted me to drop the player knowing his importance in the game.

"When you enter that kind of arrangement with a player and refuse later to keep to that arrangement and even fail to manage it well by making it open to other players, is that not a clear way of destabilising the club because you have encouraged disaffection among other players?"

Dike, who played the defunct Vasco Da Gama FC, Enugu during his career, also poured cold water on the allegation that he recruited 12 players and recommended inactive players for the management to sign.

"When I came in, I discovered imbalance in their squad. There were few attackers while a particular department was congested," he added.

"Sadly, during the mid-season, they sold Ifeanyi Onuigbo, Fortune Omoniwari, Isaac Loute, Onyekachi Ajunwa and Wale. Is that how to manage a club?

“Does a serious and ambitious club offload their best legs during midzseason without the knowledge and consent of the coaching crew?

"I met Arinze when I came but he was not registered. So I said we should register him.

"We signed about eight new players in the mid-season with four coming from one of the officials.

"The likes of Ikedinachi Nwakanma and Eze Emmanuel and others were signed following their performances in the trials.

"Truth is, their managerial style has pitted the club against some influential 'enemies' and they have refused to face the issue squarely but decide to merely scratch the surface."

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