Uncertainty has arisen over the future of Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack after taking leave from the club to return to his home in Finland to attend to ‘take care of some business’.
The club confirmed that the English coach was granted a 10-day leave and is expected to return to Kenya after that period and resume preparations for the upcoming 2020/21 Kenyan Premier League season.
Gor Mahia vice-chairman Francis Wasuna said: “The coach (Polack) requested for some days off and we gave him 10 days and he will be travelling to Finland.”
“The plan is to have him back after 10 days but we are not sure of any quarantine programs the other end. If it happens and his 10 days are interfered with, then an extension of his stay might be necessary.”
However, the situation around Polack’s decision to take leave from the club brings back horrific memories from the past, especially with the coach’s two immediate predecessors.
Former K’Ogalo coaches Dylan Kerr and Hassan Oktay both left under similar circumstances, requesting for holiday time before announcing the decision to resign days later.
According to sources from Gor Mahia, the coach will not be making a return to the club after the said holiday as his relationship with club officials has deteriorated in the recent past and is said to be irreconcilable.
The source added that before he left Kenya, the former Inter Turku and Asante Kotoko coach asked the club to settle his unpaid salary and bonuses.
“Polack conducted our training at Camp Toyoyo on Friday morning but I can as well tell you that was his last time with the club,” the source told Goal.
Pushed on to explain whether the coach has not just taken a normal holiday, the source responded: “We are too familiar with this script of coaches going for a holiday just before the season begins.”
“We are aware of how the previous coaches took holidays only to confirm their resignation while away from the club. Take it from me brother, he is not returning.
“He asked for a one-way ticket and all pending salaries before he left and this is the reason I am telling you he is gone. He had issues which seem are not going to be resolved any time soon. That is why he has left.”
However, Polack has stated contrary to the reports saying that he is ‘not a coward and will return to Kenya after the holiday.
“I am not a coward to leave and not to come back. I have a two-way ticket; after finishing my business with family at home, Gor Mahia will be my next step in preparations for the 2020/21 KPL season,” he said.
Polack oversaw Gor Mahia’s difficult 2019/20 season with the club engulfed in financial difficulties following the departure of main sponsor SportPesa.
Gor Mahia was declared winners of the 2019/20 KPL season by the Kenyan Football Federation after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, but the decision has been contested with an appeal lodged to the Sports Disputes Tribunal.
Polack has decried the club’s lack of intent to keep their best players last season stating that he ‘has no power over player departures’ as a number of first-team players left the club.
Juma Balinya who joined KCCA recently, Kenneth Muguna, Joash Onyango and goalkeeper David Mapingano are some of the high-profile departures from K’Ogalo.
However, the club has already undergone re-strengthening of their squad and has already confirmed the addition of striker Tito Okello from Ugandan champions Vipers SC.
Meanwhile, Ugandan defender Shafik Batambuzze remains on the club’s books for another season.