Pitso Mosimane and staff allegedly unpaid at Al-Ahli for months

01 June 2023 - 08:32
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Pitso Mosimane and his staff have allegedly not been paid their salaries by Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli since January.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Pitso Mosimane and his staff have allegedly not been paid their salaries by Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli since January.

As speculation of an exit for the coach continues to simmer, it has emerged that Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli has allegedly not paid Pitso Mosimane and his technical team their salaries for the past few months.

TimesLIVE has been informed by a reliable source close to developments, who did not want to be named, that the coach and his fellow South African technical team members — Kabelo Rangoaga, Musi Matlaba, Kyle Solomon and Maahier Davids — have not received their salaries in recent months.

It is understood Mosimane's representatives will turn to Fifa if the matter is not resolved in the coming weeks.

The amount owed would now also include the bonuses earned for promoting the club to the Saudi Pro League (SPL), and for winning the second tier Yelo League title.

The development comes after statements from the club’s management suggesting Mosimane might not continue despite his success restoring the fallen Saudi giants to the SPL. The coach this week publicly retorted he had a clause in his contract guaranteeing another year if Ahli were promoted.

“The coaches focused on the job of promoting the team to the premier league and that’s what they have done,” said the source, who has intimate knowledge of the situation.

“Now they [the coaching staff] have achieved their mission, they are engaging the team to get what is owed to them because the past few months have not been easy for them.”

Speculation Mosimane will leave the club, willingly or otherwise, has intensified in recent reports.

Al-Ahli president Walid Moaz last week said in press statements Mosimane’s future would be decided after their final match, a 0-0 draw against Al Hazm on Monday. He was quoted as saying: “Pitso Mosimane performed well with the team, but the ambition is greater.”

To complicate things further, TimesLIVE is further informed Al-Ahli are the subject of a Fifa ban on signings until they pay $500,000 to South Korean club Suwon Samsung Bluewings for the acquisition of Bosnian midfielder Elvis Saric.

If this situation is not resolved, whoever is coach of Ahli on their return to the top-flight could have a tough assignment making the team competitive if they cannot beef up the squad.

Also this week, reports speculated on why Ahli’s players refused to celebrate when presented the Yelo League trophy after the game against Hazm.

The official line from the club was that the players saw Ahli’s relegation from the SPL at the end of the 2021-2022 campaign as a disgrace, so felt it was not appropriate to celebrate winning the second tier title.

But If Ahli have financial problems, or are considering replacing the coach who got the team promoted, then questions might arise on if there is more to the strange reaction of the players.

Along with the unpaid salaries of the coaching staff, such developments might also put into question whether Mosimane has the desire to continue at Ahli.

TimesLIVE reached out for a response to Al-Ahli Saudi via the email address provided on their official website, but did not receive one.

Moaz and CEO Yazan Al-Shareef could not be reached on their cellphones and did not respond to WhatsApp messages.

Mosimane's manager, Moira Tlhagale, also could not be reached for comment.

Mosimane took charge of the club in September last year with Ahli struggling in their first campaign in the second tier, sitting in seventh spot after five matches under predecessor Yousef Anbar from two wins, two draws and a defeat.

The Jeddah club was one of the most competitive teams in the SPL — with three league titles as they were ever-present in the national league from its inception in 1976-1977 — before their shock first relegation.

The Yelo League trophy was former SuperSport United, Bafana Bafana, Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly (Cairo) coach Mosimane’s 19th career title.

Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.