Still no solution for impasse between Leal and Pirates

2012-03-24 16:18

The wife of suspended Orlando Pirates coach Julio Leal has already left the ­country for their homeland Brazil while the coach is said to be negotiating for a settlement with the club.

This has given an indication that Leal, who has previously coached Moroka Swallows and AmaZulu, is preparing to leave the country.

When confronted with these findings, Leal’s representative, Nadeem Mahmood, did not want to reveal more except that they have a meeting with Pirates on Wednesday.

“I can’t comment now until after the meeting on Wednesday. I am overseas now and don’t know the latest,” said ­Mahmood.

But Pirates’ director, Dominic Ntsele, denied talk of a possible settlement.

Ntsele said they were still trying to ­establish what Leal meant when he said he could not see his way forward and that chairperson (Irvin Khoza) must do what is right for the club.

“The reason for the suspension was that we didn’t hurry the process. We also do not want processes to run over each other,” said Ntsele.

“Palacios (caretaker coach Augusto) is responsible for the team until we exhaust this issue.

“You can’t go and play Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns with a coach who says he can’t see his way.

The ­reaction of the board was that we should look at the circumstances and his ­unhappiness.”

Ntsele said the laws of the country did not allow them to put deadlines on the finality of Leal’s matter.

“There is an employer-employee relationship and we have to exhaust all avenues as is required by the law.

We must give adequate time for the due­ process.”

He said they were in contact with Leal through written communication so as to avoid “he said, we said”.

Leal’s contract stipulated that the club should consistently stay in the top four in order to stand a chance of winning the league, revealed Ntsele.

“It’s all in his contract and some of the clauses were put in by him,” he emphasised.

“So when we did not achieve some of the things in the contract we then asked how do we help him achieve those things. We don’t employ coaches in order to fire them as that is a costly business.”

He said Leal – who signed a three-year contract at the beginning of the season – was still their coach until something went wrong.

“We are in communication with him in writing as it would be improper to meet him. He will come back if we find a solution and we become comfortable again.”

Despite winning two trophies with the club already, chances of Leal returning to the Buccaneers look slim.

Just as former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker quipped at the news of Leal and Platinum Stars’ coach Owen da Gama’s suspensions: “There are two types of coaches. Those that are employed and those that are fired. There is nothing like a suspended coach.”

Leal tried unsuccessfully to get a ­settlement from Swallows after being fired even though he brought the ­Nedbank Cup to the threadbare Birds’ aviary.

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