Shafiq Bisaso has been sacked as head coach of Express F.C without any notification from the club management.
For the most part of last season, the club was on a downward spiral with little hope of surviving relegation. The Express ship was sinking with no captain to save it.
Back in November 2017, the Wankulukuku based side’s management identified and got their man. Shafiq Bisaso was hired with the ultimate target of keeping the club above the redline.
Bisaso came with the swagger of a man who had just guided a university side, Uganda Martyrs to their maiden university league title with a convincing win over perennial nemeses MUBS in the final, but was yet to establish himself in the county’s top tier.
In him, the Red Eagles had seen a messiah, like the biblical Moses, he was the man to lead Express FC to the promised land.
His first games were a nightmare. At one point in the first round, the club went for five games without a win. The unforgiving fans had started calling for his head. To add salt to injury, they lost their goal machine Daniel Sserunkuma to Vipers after the first round.
Sserunkuuma had scored six out of their eight goals in the first round. His departure meant that Express was left toothless.
Perhaps giving up was the only appealing option, but the strong Muslim man kept the faith.
First forward to the final day of the season, Express survives by a whisker, with 31 points, 20 of which credited to Bisaso. He had achieved his target and hoped his bosses were happy. But his reward, the boot.
Bisaso is defensive of his performance, “The Express officials approached me and they asked me to save the team and I did . Am proud of myself . Because I was the head coach and I determined what was going on the team . Express is among the five teams that created more than 20 points in the second round. I found EXpress with 11 points and we finished with 31 points which I think was a job well done by me and my team. Because I wouldn’t be here if the team was relegated.’
With a forlorn face as he slouches in his seat, Bisaso narrates the pain he maneuvered during his time at express.
Bisaso claims, ‘Many people don’t know I wasn’t paid not only that I went beyond and I injected in my own money as a coach to see that the club doesn’t drop to relegation.”
He is especially pained by how some fans treated him, “There was one time a fan approached me and I remember very well he was a Muslim . He told me Wallahi in the name of Allah you aren’t coming back to Express.”
The helpless coach says, “I looked at him but he even didn’t know that the money that was taking back the players was from my pocket. He didn’t know me he just judged me.’
Bisaso adds, “Many thought Nsimbe was brought in by the administration but I approached George Best Nsimbe to come in and be part of my technical team because I needed the best people .”
He makes the claim that, “I was paying him myself. We were doing the job with other coaches and but that comes with the passion I have for football. For Express to survive it came with a lot of tough decisions and am now happy they survived relegation.”
The crestfallen tactician also revealed that he is still contracted to the club up to 2019 and was left bemused when he learnt that he was replaced by Keefa Kisaala without a notice of termination of his contract.
Bisaso says, “Even up to now they haven’t spoken to me or contacted me. Yes they owe me a lot of money and I don’t think they can pay me. Even if I take them to court, they can’t pay me.
If am to report I will report to Allah Subhana wataa’ala.”
Express FC survived relegation after a hard earned 1-0 over Masavu on the final day of the 2017/18 Uganda premier league thanks to a goal from Alfred Leku, and Proline’s failure to beat URA on the same day.