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Gunners lose Pio court battle

Peleng based outfit, Extension Gunners have finally lost the legal battle against their former coach, Keitumetse Paul, in a case that has dragged on for some months following a fallout between the two.

WeekendSport is reliably informed that Paul, who is affectionately known as ‘Pio’ from his salad days as an attacking midfielder, had long complained that Extension Gunners was ill- treating him and in the process failed to comply with the Employment Act when they sacked him two seasons ago. It is reported that Paul’s grievances were that Gunners management was failing to pay him as per the agreement and that at the time he started to complain, the Lobatse based club did not listen; instead, he was shown the door.

Information reaching this publication suggests that Gunners, who are expected to be managed by Tsa Gae clothing label company, (All Kasi) argued before the Industrial Court that, although they had been working with Paul, theirs was a gentleman‘s agreement. Paul, a former Under-23 coach is said to have been owed a lump sum when he was sacked. It is said Gunners made a gross error because Paul had signed two different contracts; one as an assistant coach and the other as head coach. Duration in either of the contracts was reportedly unspecified. Pio was appointed as an assistant coach to Calvin Peterson-who also left the club under a cloud.

The former coach could not be drawn to comment when reached for clarity.

Lady luck has eluded the youthful coach since he was fired from the national squad where he was deputizing Briton, Peter Butler. After the much publicised fallout with Butler, Paul had another short stint at Extension Gunners where he was bitterly sacked.

Paul has always been one to publicly lash out at colleagues or players, as he did at the Lobatse side before they showed him the door. He has also taken to national television his grievances while under BFA payroll as Butler’s second in command.

After a short spell in the sidelines, Mochudi Centre Chiefs would cajole him to their camp, but his journey was once more cut short owing to yet another fallout.

When Gunners sacked Pio, it is said he was never served with communication of suspension or expulsion from the club.

Meanwhile, Pio was quoted by different mediums saying that he had no binding contract with the club, it has come to light that some agreement was entered into, hence the move to seek redress at the courts.

Gunners management was resolute that due process was followed when dealing with their disgruntled former coach’s issue. Pio was apparently summoned to a disciplinary hearing, which he snubbed. But it proved to be a different story when Pio showed the courts the letters and instantly tilted favour to his side.

At the time Pio was expelled, the club management was reportedly torn apart, as it was; there are some who it is said were against Pio being sacked, and those who were not supportive of Nare being brought aboard as the new coach. 

However, if there is anything the team should now worry about, it is that it has not gaped holes in the technical department to compete for the new season. They ought to tread carefully with the coach issue if they are keen on traversing the redemption road.

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