Coach Wasswa Bbosa and Express parted ways on Monday, February 14 barely seven months since the gaffer won the Red Eagles their first league title in nine years!
Bbosa who also guided Express FC to their maiden CECAFA Kagame Cup triumph, was sacked on the back of a 15-game unbeaten run.
The coach’s record, since taking charge of Express FC on February 3 2020, stands at 35 wins, 22 draws and 7 losses in all competitions.
His winning rate in the League since 2020 is 56% with his 5 losses in the league coming against UPDF (2), Bright Stars, Arua Hill and URA FC. The other two losses came against Al Merrikh (CAF Champions League) and BUL (Stanbic Uganda Cup).
So, it’s a no brainer to deduce that Bbosa’s sacking was mainly about his off-the-pitch issues.
Many will say that Bbosa has been the master of his downfall at Express, but where actually did it all go wrong for the gaffer who recently won the Airtel FUFA coach of the year?
The Story Of Witchcraft
The Club has accused Bbosa that he has relied more o superstitious beliefs rather than preparations to win games!
Unconfirmed reports says that some Express players are smeared with lemons before entering the pitch.
There was an ugly incident before the Express match with URA FC at Arena of Visions in Ndejje where the hosts goalkeeping coach Billy Kiggundu reportedly fought with Express team physio Aloysius Makubuya over similar incidents.
It was said that Makubuya entered the pitch before anyone else and started performing rituals.
It’s also said that Bbosa’s other man who helps him use extra methodology to influence team results is the kitsman Alex Mugisha.
Mugisha was supposed to be fired after the Uganda Cup semifinal loss against BUL FC when the Red Eagles travelled to Njeru with only one kit, but Bbosa came to rescue as he didn’t want his ‘sorcerer’ to leave the club, it is said.
One of the goalkeeping coaches at Express is said to have warned his keepers that he will fire whoever starts to use Juju.
Bbosa, since this season, has always taken his starting XI to eat their meals outside Wankulukuku claiming that they will be bewitched, while the rest of the team and staff eat at the club house.
There were also infamous incidents reported before their CECAFA Kagame Cup with Zanzibar’s KMKM when Bbosa is said to have refused his players to enter the pitch over suspicions of witchcraft.
However, many believe that Bbosa is using such rituals just to gain psychological game plan but not a magical unfair advantage.
When speaking with the press men, Mwesigwa said that Bbosa was sacked to protect the image and brand of the club!
Fall Out with CEO Isaac Mwesigwa
Many say that this has been the main reason why coach Bbosa was shown the exit door.
But where did it all start?
Others claim that Bbosa and Mwesigwa fought over on who to have full control of player transfers, transfer fees and salaries.
Some claim that CEO Mwesigwa was not transparent when team bonuses from winning the CECAFA Kagame Cup in Tanzania came.
But those in defence of Mwesigwa, claim that he used the money for ‘more pressing problems’ like paying salaries of staff.
There was also inequalities in sharing players bonuses from winning the championship, some players got Sh7m while other banked Sh4m which did not go well with Bbosa.
Unconfirmed reports also claimed that the CEO Mwesigwa, who we failed to get for a comment, got money from Al-Merrikh to allow a change in venue and date for their return leg of the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
Express who left for Sudan on Tuesday camped in Khartoum for a match on Friday but were later told that the game was to be played on a Sunday in El Obeid.
Khartoum is 360km away fro El Obeid.
Bbosa and his Players reportedly protested leaving Obeid to Khartoum before the CEO reached down his pockets and shared some of the money with the team to settle the matter, accusations which have since gone unconfirmed.
The biggest fallout came during negotiations between the CEO and Bbosa who was yet to renew his contract.
It is said that one of the clauses indicated that Bbosa would be fired in case he lost four games in a row! Bbosa who was later told about the clause by one of his representative, fumed and felt hard done by why the CEO put in such given that he helped the club win the league and CECAFA.
Since then, Bbosa has accused Mwesigwa that he “dislikes me” and after the opening league game of the season, a loss against newcomers Arua Hill at Wankulukuku, the tactician told pressman that Mwesigwa connived with referees for Express to lose games so that he is sacked!
Bbosa was later ordered to pay Sh2m and suspended for three games by FUFA Ethics Committee for ‘putting the game into disrepute’
During the meeting that sacked Bbosa, the self entitled CEO repeatedly said that “I am the boss here, so I must be respected.”
The Exit Of Betway!
Online betting company Betway closed business in Uganda in December, leaving their assets Betway Power (basketball), Betway KOBs (Rugby) and Express (football) at the edge of the abyss.
Express received the one month notice from Betway on December 6th about the company’s inability to fulfill their obligation in the contract that was to expire at the end of this season.
This was a big blow to Express who has enjoyed the benefits since Betway came on board in 2018.
The adverse effects started to be realised at Wankuluku as players stopped from receiving match bonuses and by the time of Bbosa’s sacking, the players and staff had gone two months without pay!
That is huge for a club whose success last season was credited on the good and timely welfare of the players and staff.
Club Chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka asked the club to release and send out some players on loan and the technical team had to be reduced, because he could not afford the huge wage bill but Bbosa refused saying that no one is leaving unless we are all exiting the club as a whole!
The CEO was also told to reduce on his secretariat as well.
In fact, when Mwesigwa was firing Bbosa in a meeting held at Wankulukuku, the he accused his coach of fielding players who train just twice a week.
Little did the CEO know that some players could not afford to come on training on a daily basis.
It is said that some of these players had been chased out of their homes including Godfrey Lwesibawa and Issa Lumu who started to travel long distances.
It is said that Bbosa pledged to give Sh20,000 to these players but he could only afford to do that during the last two days leading to the match and on matchday as well.
After the 2-2 draw with Tooro United at Wankulukuku on Friday, Bbosa angrily went into the dressing room and told the players that we want KK (Kiryowa Kiwanuka) to come and tell us whether we are playing for free or not.
It is said that Bbosa then ordered the players not to return to training thereafter until further notice.
That did not go well with KK the club board as well, who said that Bbosa had gone beyond his limits and had to call a meeting on Sunday night where the CEO was asked to take a decision.
•Bbosa was told that he always leaked club information to the media, mainly to Bukedde
•He was told that he disrespected his staff including strength and conditioning coach Hellen Buteme
•It is also said that the gaffer fell out with some of his key players including left back Arthur Kiggundu who many say that he has since faked an injury. Some of his members on his Technical team said that Bbosa was not easy to advise especially when it came to matters of taking off winger Martin Kizza!
What Next For Express?
Turbulent times await Express FC!
The sacking of Wasswa Bbosa who has since been replaced by his assistant James Odoch has all but weakened Express who are after the move literally out of the title race.
Divisions among fans is expected to follow, and Wankulukuku is not going to be a sweet home for CEO Mwesigwa who will be directed with all sorts of abuses by a section of fans.
For coach Odoch, his work is cut out as it remains to be seen if he can own that dressing room. In fact, its said that Odoch hesitated to take on the role when he was reached by the club prior to Bbosa’s sacking.
Almost all players listen to Bbosa and Defender Murushid Juuko, and Odoch lay out his tactics to the team.
Plus, the financial situation is not expected to be solved sooner or later!
For Bbosa, he is still demanding club some arrears and he vowed not to take only two months!
He is not expected to stay out for long without a job, with SC Villa being a long admirer as they fancy a return for their former coach.