Jones, CAPS Utd part ways

Charlie Jones

FORMER footballer-turned-administrator Charlie Jones, who quit as CAPS United chief executive officer, says he was leaving the Green Machine with a clear conscience after spending just over a year with the club.

The Green Machine confirmed the separation with the club legend yesterday. The former winger decided he was leaving after meeting with club president Farai Jere last weekend.

Jones, though, exits under a cloud and said he was going back to resuscitate his businesses.

The CAPS United great hinted he was finding it difficult to operate under an environment where reporting structures are not respected, when asked about his relationship with club officials.

“In any organisation, there should be structures that should be respected in terms of who does what and who reports to who,” he said without elaborating.

“These structures are crucial if we are to turn the club into a business. I don’t want to sound bitter or anything like that. But I left pleasantly because I have got some personal business to run.

“I would want to resuscitate my company because in the past year or so I had left everything and put all my energies to football business,” said Jones.

Jones, who was a household name in the CAPS United of the1980’s, made a sensational return to the club when he was appointed CEO in May last year.

The Green Machine announced his departure in a media statement yesterday.

“It is with both misery and gratitude that we announce the unexpected departure of Charlie Jones who has been the Chief Executive Officer of CAPS United Football Club after 13 months of service.

“Charlie Jones is a club and football legend whose business and football acumen was profoundly invaluable to the club.

“During his tenure Charlie Jones instilled vigorous transformative initiatives which will be beneficial to the club today and in the future.

“His passion for football and love for Caps United is undeniable and was clear for all to see as he went about club business with great zeal.

“On behalf of the entire Caps United family, we wish Charlie Jones the absolute best in his future plans and endeavours. We will miss your humour and we will cherish all the good moments,” said a statement from the Harare giants.

Jones said the experience with CAPS United was an eye-opener. He believes local Premiership clubs still have a long way to go in terms of transforming into professional entities.

 “It’s been an eye-opener to be back in football administration for the past year. The biggest problem now is that my company needs me to survive at this point.

“But it’s sad the way football now run these days. I remember in the past we used to have proper structures where everyone had defined duties and where everyone knew what to do and who to report to. These days there are no more structures; it’s the owners and their clubs.

“The owners are the structures and anyone else below is window dressing,” said Jones.

The former footballer admits he had not succeeded in his vision to turn CAPS United around into a going concern. He said the structure of the local football was hampering success.

“Football is its biggest enemy in terms of failing to use their brands to turn football clubs into profitable business. We haven’t taken the brands into the commercial space.

“I think this is what our local clubs need to do; going commercial and monetizing the brands. That is what I wanted to do at CAPS United. CAPS United is a big brand and the club should see the benefits.

“Gone are the days when clubs would depend largely on sponsorship for their survival. There is need to embark on smart partnerships. If that is not done, clubs will continue to live from hand to mouth, which is not healthy.

“I didn’t go out there to look for handouts. We wanted to create partnerships, which is something that can’t be done overnight, anyway,” said Jones.

Jones leaves amid claims of in-house fighting in the Green Machine camp. CAPS United enjoyed a period of stability for the past few months and had a brilliant start to the current campaign before hitting fresh turbulence.

The situation at the club has been curious in the last two weeks, with coach Lloyd Chitembwe also threatening to quit after the defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs in Bulawayo recently.

It was a second loss on the bounce and the coach alleged there was negative energy within the structures pulling down the team’s spirit, while ruling out poor performance by the players.

“We have lost two on the trot, (which) is very very disappointing but what is more disappointing is the fact that it is not a consequence of poor performance, but I feel there are certain things we need to address as a football club and it’s quite disappointing,” Chitembwe said.

“You know I have been in football for a while particularly at Caps, both as a player and a coach. There are certain team dynamics that really need to be managed for the team to achieve greatness. In this case it’s very disappointing when some people are putting effort, but other people are bringing negative energy.

“Obviously efforts to try and wrest control of the way I do things. It will be very disappointing, but all the same it’s a result personally I will not take exception to. These things have been happening for a while. There are games we were supposed to win, but could not win,” said Chitembwe then.

CAPS United have collected four points in their last two outings and they are set to travel to Mandava this Sunday to play Herentals. They sit eighth on the log standings with 21 points from 15 games.

Fixtures:

Saturday: Chicken Inn v Hwange (Luveve), Manica Diamonds v Bulawayo Chiefs (Gibbo), ZPC Kariba v Cranborne Bullets (Nyamhunga), FC Platinum v Sheasham (Mandava)

Sunday: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Highlanders (Baobab), Black Rhinos v Simba Bhora (Bata), Dynamos v Yadah (Barbourfields), Triangle v GreenFuel (Gibbo), Herentals v CAPS Utd (Mandava)

Herald

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