Flames forward Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango has disclosed the reasons behind his sudden decision to sign for South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Bidvest Wits from Bloemfontein Celtic.
On Monday, Celtic announced they had terminated ‘Gabadinho’s’ contract after establishing that he had signed a pre-contract with Wits.
However, the 23-year-old forward yesterday justified the move blaming it on Celtic’s procrastination due to the injury he had.
“The club refused to offer me a new contract because officials said I was injured and asked me to wait until I have recovered. I felt this was an insult because it showed that my injury rendered me useless and not worth a new contract,” he said.
But the club claimed that the forward pledged his commitment to extend his contract during discussions they held for months.
“We are stunned by Mhango’s pre-contract signing with Wits after having numerous discussions with him and his agent for more than a year,” a statement posted on the club’s website www.bloemfonteincelticfc.co.za, reads partly.
The statement further said that the club released him immediately because it felt that the former Big Bullets forward would not be committed during the remaining six months of his career.
“We have done everything in our power to keep Mhango but we are left with no option to let him go with immediate effect because he will no longer be 100 per cent committed to the team,” the statement said.
Responding to Celtic’s assertions, Gabadinho said: “I am a professional footballer and I respect Celtic because they have belief in me. There is no way I could have been less committed.”
Mhango said after he recovered and discussions to renew his contract had started, he asked for undisclosed salary increment which the club felt was exorbitant.
He was however quick to point out that Bidvest has promised more that the salary he demanded at Celtic.
“What it means is that Bidvest values me more than Celtic so I had no choice but to join them,” he said.
Though claiming that he has not officially been told about his contract termination, he was not bitter because he did not flout any rules in signing the Bidvest pre-contract.
Meanwhile, Gabadinho has told kickoff.com that he is thrilled with his move to Bidvest Wits from Bloemfontein Celtic, but the Malawian could face the next six months on the sidelines.
The diminutive striker has signed a three-year contract with Wits, starting in July.
“It feels good and is an achievement in my soccer career.
“I enjoyed a great stay at Celtic. It’s a good team with great supporters. It is always motivating to play in front of such passionate supporters. It’s part of football, I have to start a new life elsewhere,” he is quoted as saying.