Hearts of Oak spokesperson Opare Addo says the club cannot be blamed for failing to hold onto some key players.
Defender Vincent Atingah, who was astounding for the Phobians in the just ended season, scoring eight goals in over 25 appearances, on Thursday was declared a free agent after he appeared before the Ghana Football Association(GFA) Player Status Committee, who subsequently handed him his 'floating status'.
Skipper Thomas Abbey, defender Fatau Mohammed and striker Kwame Kizito are all on the verge of leaving the capital-based club for free after failed contract negotiations.
Thomas Abbey finished the 2016/17 season as Hearts of Oak top scorer with 13 goals.
For Abbey, it has been reported that he is currently being assessed by South African side Ajax Cape Town while Kwame Kizito has pleaded with the club to accept a $25,000 training and development fee from Swedish club Hacken FC who are keen on securing his services.
This has not gone down well with fans, who have slammed management for not convincing the players to extend their contracts, but Opare Addo insists Hearts of Oak made moves to keep the players but some are keen on leaving.
‘’It is never true that Hearts of Oak management and board sat unconcerned all this while for player contracts to run out, I will say this and continue to say this and I will put my head on the block.
Look, the Hearts of Oak board, the board chairman, he is one person that even a year and a half ago, every time he kept on saying “Look, players contracts are running out, we have to make sure these players continue playing for us because we have nurtured them and they are playing good football” Opare said on Adom TV
‘’But what can you do? ... If you are a manager of a team and you contact a player that you want to re-engage them, one year before their contract expires, but the player gives an excuse that his manager is not around and you call another player but he too says his manager says he will come tomorrow.
You keep calling and finally, one player says he will come on Wednesday but he does not show up until Saturday. So we kept calling and inviting players and their managers.''
‘’I will not say these things behind their backs. If the players were here I will still say it because that is the truth. None of these players you have mentioned can say that the latest period we called them was June, It was before June [that we called them all]. Yes. None of these players.’’
Atingah, Abbey and Kizito were all part of the Black Stars B squad that won the WAFU Cup. With Abbey and Atingah contributing three goals.
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