By Immanuel Ben Misagga
Last year when I decided to return home to SC Villa, I had an unshakable belief that unity will return the club to the glory days.
For most of the last decade, Villa, the most supported club in the country, had its big wigs sucked into intrigue but now was the chance to bury the hatchet and get the club to where it belongs. It took a great deal of sacrifice to get everyone on board.
However, this has not gone down well with the architects of the intrigue, who had successfully turned away club loyalists and historicals by creating an aura of a failed club.
This is an influential and well-entrenched football cabal whose aim was to take over the club and use it as a tool for manipulation of domestic football.
And whereas this may not be obvious to the eye, the sabotage at Villa has been around for quite some time.
During my reign as Villa president, the club was flogged at every opportunity and unjustly missed out on several titles through questionable boardroom and op-pitch decisions.
In the lead-up to the botched club elections in 2018, this cabal created an environment of hostility and bad blood within the club ranks.
My decision to step aside as club president at that time only boosted their machination to take over the club. What followed were several questionable decisions on the pitch in favour of Villa.
It was a well-orchestrated move to portray the side as capable of moving on yet it was clear Villa didn’t have the squad to challenge for any silverware.
So, when the old Villa guard led by William Nkemba stepped in to reclaim the club, this greatly upset the cabal even though they couldn’t openly complain about it.
All of a sudden, Villa’s fortunes nosedived and they stopped getting favourable calls from referees.
Matters were not helped when information started to leak in the media about the non-payment of players, something that was meant to demonstrate that the club is ailing.
The cabal engineered several schemes that emerged to take over the club, such as recruiting players, creating a governance structure on top of organising an election that would have wiped away the old guard.
Luckily, many woke up to the reality that this was a coup attempt and pouring cold water into the whole process, a move that paved the way to unite the Villa fraternity.
I was convinced to return to the club and join hands with the club leadership but it seems making peace with this cabal is a pipe dream.
Despite having the second attempt of taking over the club thwarted, the cabal is not resting and is yet to accept that Villa returned to normalcy.
This time, it has decided to fight Villa through a series of intricate schemes on the pitch. All of a sudden, Villa no longer gets 50/50 calls.
To an ordinary fan, this may seem to be a mere coincidence but to anyone well-versed with behind-the-scenes manoeuvres, it is a well-orchestrated plot to create antagonism in Villa.
The very cabal that created the roadmap in which the club is running is now trying to portray it as a poor governance structure. Fortunately, we are well aware and no form of sabotage can take us back.
The author is SC Villa’s first vice president in charge of Mobilization and Fans Affairs