Da Gama to leave Pirates?

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The Sunday Times says Da Gama is at odds with club chairman Irvin Khoza, and more especially CEO Floyd Mbele, amid accusations of interfering, with Mbele allegedly going as far as to give the coach team lists before a match.

The report suggests three men, Antoine Tony Hey (Germany), Alain Giresse (France) and Jean-Paul Akono (Cameroon), are in the frame to take over the Pirates’ ship next season.

And Da Gama admitted to the paper that he was unhappy with certain aspects of his job.

“I am still happy here,” he says. “But I would like to have some sort of say in bringing in the type of players I want and to get rid of the players who I do not want.

“But I have to respect the culture of the club regarding the input by the chairman,” said Da Gama.

That “culture of the club” that has seen Khoza have final say on transfers has been the bane of many a coach’s life, and could be reason why the team finds itself sixth in the League and without a Premiership title in almost five years.

Mbele, however, has denied any knowledge of an unhappy Da Gama.

“I didn’t know the coach is unhappy and wants to leave,” he says. “It is also news to me that he is not on speaking terms with the chairman.

“He has a contract with the club until 2010. My relationship with the coach is just like any other Pirates’ employee and we do talk. I am not directly involved and cannot select a team for him because I am at the office during the week and don’t get to see the players.”

The Sunday Times report goes on to say an angry Da Gama refused to allow Oupa Manyisa, signed from Africa Sports Academy without his consent, to train with the club in January, before Khoza foced the issue.