In an incident which aptly describes the current state of affairs at one of the oldest football clubs in the country, Mohammedan Sporting have sacked their head coach Jose Hevia, with the club’s official statement on the same taken word to word from that of Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United when they parted ways with Gerard Nus.
Hevia was roped in just in time for the side’s I-League campaign after former head coach Yan Law was sacked in October for allegedly leaking confidential information. It therefore was some sort of poetic justice that the Spaniard’s contract was terminated just after Mohammedan’s 3-0 drubbing against Aizawl FC who happen to be coached by Law. However, the news of the sacking has been overshadowed by the fact that club officials couldn’t be bothered enough to put out an original statement. Instead, they just copied NorthEast United’s statement from back in January when Gerard Nus was let go after a string of poor results. While that in itself is an amusing story and one to ponder on, the more serious issue at hand is the current situation within the club.
The Black Panthers were one of the favourites coming into the new season of the I-League. It was the first time in seven years that the legacy club had been promoted to the division and with a new team, new investors and a new head coach, things seemed to be falling into place. They even won their first game of the season against Sudeva FC to announce their arrival in bold letters. But since then, they seem to have reverted to their bad habits.
Last month it was revealed that the club hadn’t paid some of its players following a delay in their sponsors coming on board. As a result, the players stopped training with technical director Dipendu Biswas acknowledging that it was a case of short-sightedness on the club’s part. This was followed by a directive from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to clear the pending dues of Yan Law from his time at the club. On the field, things haven’t gone according to plan either. The side has won just one more match since their opening fixture and currently sit 7th on the points table with just two matches left in the league stages. They have lost their last two games against Aizawl FC and AIFF’s developmental side Indian Arrows which proved to be the final straw as far as Hevia’s tenure at the club is concerned.