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StarTimes UPL: How relegation kept calling for Maroons, Proline and Tooro

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The StarTimes Uganda Premier League was ended prematurely due to the Coronavirus pandemic which halted all sporting activities. The FUFA applied article 18 of the Competition Rules to come up with the decision that saw the winner and relegation decided by matchday 25 table standings.

Vipers SC was declared champion of 2019/2020 season while Maroons, Proline, and Tooro United who were occupying the last three positions on the standings were relegated to the FUFA Big league.

In this article, we take a look at how the three teams kept on moving towards relegation – How relegation kept calling for Maroons, Proline, and Tooro.

Maroons FC – 14th

Maroons Football Club finished the 2019/2020 season in 14th place after acquiring 24 points from the 25 games played, and they indeed played a big role in getting themselves relegated to the second tier. Maroons had a fair first round of the season gathering 19 points from 15 games but failed to cope up with pressure in the second round. They managed to garner only five points from the ten games played. They sacked  Douglas Bamweyana replacing him with Charles Ayiekoh in anticipation of better results but it was already too late.

Maroons FC during a warmup session at FUFA Technical Centre Njeru | Courtesy Photo

The poor second-round performances started when Maroons lost some of their players in the transfer market, with Ronald Orombi and Eddy Kapampa being sent out on loan to Tooro united. This was the moment that worsened the already fading relationship between the players, Maroons’ administration, and Bamweyana.

Players started rebelling against the coach while fears of losing the identity grew deeper within the upper echelons at the club. When Bamweyana brought in more players who were not brought up through the Luzira system, senior players like captain Sylvester Okello among others started a revolution to have the coach out. They felt players like Edgar Bwogi, David Ndihabwe, Hannington Ssebwalunyo among others had broken the Club’s tradition. They did not belong there.

Then there was also an incident in which the Club deliberately fielded an ineligible player against Vipers in that a one-all draw.

Charles Ayeiko was recruited by Maroons to save the sinking boat but the man who was brought in to save the team from relegation will start his campaign in the place they did not want to be.

Proline FC – 15th

The departure of the team Head Coach Shafiq Bisaso started the problems that would see Proline FC relegated to the Big League. The first problem was with the transition in the coaching staff which many players failed to adjust to. It later turned out that the club would have more transitions – Lule, Bongole then Mbowa – name it, leave it. The more the coaches changed, the more the team changed, and the poorer they performed.

Ivan Bogere, the club’s marksman who led them on a fairytale continental engagement in the CAF Confederations Cup by scoring 4 goals went AWOL. His disappearance can be described as one way Proline’s attacking force was disrupted and so the team’s performance.

The other biggest issue was the failure to honor a home fixture against SC Villa – they lived with this till the end that was unexpected. Six points and six goals coupled with a slap of Shs. 5M in fines. Ohh, God! What a way to self destruct? The club struggled against the 6 point-deficit and by matchday 25, the Club had failed to make it up for the lost points.

They just ferried themselves back to where they came from. Let’s all hope they return in a similar fashion as they did at the end of last season.

Tooro United – 16th

So, how fast could a team that finished in the top four a previous season fall so fast from grace? Tooro United who finished 4th last season were relegated this season. Surprising, isn’t it?

Well, Tooro United’s problems started surfacing the moment Smart Obed decided to join financial forces with the Spelito Ssesanga faction. From the start of the season, the team has been embroiled in administrative wrangles and failed to manage its obligations as a football club.

In the event, they fell out with the coach who helped them to the 4th place finish the previous season, Wasswa Bbosa after just 10 games. Bossa departed the club cited incompetence of the team management as the reason he departed. Bbosa’s departure was followed by club C.E.O Moses Tumusiime 11 days later. There were claims that players and coaching staff had gone months without pay.

The club only managed four wins in the first round of the season and lost on nine occasions.

Wasswa Bossa’s successors, Eric Ndifuna threw in the towel while Muhamad Kisekka who followed later was also relieved of his duties after eight games due to publicity issues.

Tooro United announced themselves, relegation candidates, at the beginning of the second round of the season where they lost two successive games by forfeiture due to licensing issues. Their survival remained distant as they went on to win just once in their next eight games.

The aftermath of the events will now see the club which has spent seven years in the top-flight play in the second division next season.


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