Pio braced for a fight
IN A MEAN MOOD: Keitumetse Pio Paul

…..As Toronto proposes a 61% salary cut

Notwane Football Club Head Coach Keitumetse Pio Paul has vowed to fight with everything he has a decision by the club management to cut his salary by a staggering 61%.

According to sources Paul was earning P18 000 a month, and the Toronto management has proposed a slashed salary of P7000.

The fiery tactician was served with a letter on Wednesday afternoon and ordered not to set foot at the training ground until the matter was resolved.

“I’ve rejected their proposal. My lawyer is handling the matter and Notwane has been told to do proper consultation and follow Botswana’s labour laws,” said Paul in an interview with Voice Sport.

Notwane has temporarily engaged Assistant Coach Kakale Mabechu to drill the team ahead of their Saturday clash against Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

Voice Sports has been informed that the salary cut was necessary as the newly promoted side is battling to stay afloat in a financially taxing premiership.

According to the Club’s Public Relations Manager Ace Orapeleng some players have been paid late in the recent past.

“He was told to accept the offer or he step down. He was further told to step aside and not to come for training until the matter was resolved,” Voice Sport learnt.

Paul’s fixed contract with the club is valid until 2020 and Notwane might find themselves in more trouble as they are likely to be ordered to pay for termination of contract.

Paul is not new to such controversy.

In June this year, his former Club Sharps Electrical who terminated his contract after he guided them to league promotion in 2016/17 were ordered to pay him P61, 000, which had accrued as salary arrears.

The Industrial Court in Gaborone ordered that Sharps’ property be sold through public auction in order to offset the P61, 130.76 the club owed the no nonsense coach.

In a similar case, Paul also took Extension Gunners to court in 2016 for an unfair termination of his contract.

Fresh from being sacked as Zebras Assistant coach where he was deputizing Briton Peter Butler, the former attacking midfielder joined Gunners, but was soon shown the door after another fallout with Management.

Speaking to Voice Sport on Wednesday, Orapeleng said they are undergoing a restructuring exercise which has sadly affected the coach’s wages.

Orapeleng said it was important to keep Paul away from the training ground to ensure that their decision would not in anyway affect preparations for the Saturday match.

Toronto’s mouth piece told Voice Sport that playing too many games away at the start of the season has robbed them of the much needed gate takings.

“We’re still talking to him, and we are confident that we observed the labour laws as espoused in the Employment Act,” he said.

Orapeleng said to avoid leading the club into a debt trap they had to reduce their wage bill, a decision that everyone at the club was aware of.

“All our players are aware of these developments, we addressed and assured them that they’d not be affected by the restructuring process,” said Orapeleng.

Asked why the restructuring seems to be only targeting Paul, Orapeleng told Voice Sport that the decision is still an internal matter they are still discussing with the coach.

Under Paul’s stewardship in the 2018/19 season, Notwane has won just two matches from nine games, drew two and lost three and currently on position nine in the log.

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