Is Platinum job a poisoned chalice?

HARARE - For four years, the coaching post at FC Platinum has changed hands several times – circumstances differing each time – so much it’s hard to remember past the last coach.

The constant demise of coaches at Platinum started a little over four years ago with the tragic death of Benjamin Moyo.

The financially sound club had just been promoted into Zimbabwe’s top-flight league, and Benjamin Moyo – coaching badges from Europe and all – had landed the lucrative job and tasked with immediately converting big money signings into silverware.

Just a few games into the season, Moyo drowned in a swimming pool during a training camp in Shurugwi ahead of a league fixture to plunge the Zimbabwean football community into mourning.

A few eyebrows were raised about the circumstances of the death, a few tough questions asked, but in the end sleeping dogs were let to lie.

With money not a problem at Platinum, a big fat carrot was dangled in front of Rahman Gumbo, who accepted the offer and arrived back home with a big reputation of winning league titles in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana.

In Gumbo, the club and its fans were confident they had brought the right man to turn their grief into joy.

True to reputation, Gumbo took Platinum to the brink of the title in their debut season, only losing it heartbreakingly in circumstances that probably still hurt those associated with the Zvishavane club.

Defender Daniel Veremu, one of the big signings in the off-season, headed into his own net at Mandava Stadium to gift Dynamos an all-important 1-0 win in what had correctly been billed as the title decider. Dynamos went on to take the championship on goal difference.

The next season didn’t start well for Platinum, and somewhere in the middle of the season, Gumbo was fired and replaced in the interim by his long-time right-hand man Tendai Chikuni, who had also assisted him in Malawi and Botswana.

At the beginning of the 2013 season Platinum appointed Hwange coach Tenant Chilumba as the new substantive gaffer, a highly-rated coach both in his native Zambia and Zimbabwe.

He too brought a new sense of belief to Mandava.

But Chilumba’s stay was short-lived, quitting Platinum mid-season following an indifferent start to join Zambian side Power Dynamos. 

Platinum moved quickly to appoint Dynamos legend Lloyd Mutasa mid-last season.

Known for his penchant for attacking, Platinum found themselves believing again.

But he too has left the club, mid-season into the current term.

An official statement from the club this week said Mutasa had stepped down due to poor results.

What it is with the FC Platinum coaching job, it begs the question?

It is the pressure for success by club officials which end up taking toll on the coaches?

It is infighting in the club which end up tearing the coaches apart and leave their loyalty divided?

Or is it something much deeper, something we don’t and might never really understand?

Platinum will appoint a new substantive coach, perhaps another high-profile coach. But they’ll be gently reminded that all these men who have coached them before did have ability in buckets to achieve success, but did not.

Perhaps they need to look else and try locate the great missing link.

And to the neutral, Platinum must locate that missing link soon.

In a league in which professionalism is shunned and player welfare neglected with reckless abundance, you want a team that tries to show a modicum of efficiency like Platinum to do well and show others that professionalism works.

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