The Players of Heartland Football Club of Owerri, Imo state, were at the weekend locked out of their hotel rooms in Owerri, the state capital.
It was gathered that the management of the hotel insisted that the players would not leave for Kaduna ahead of their Sunday (yesterday’s) encounter with Wikki Tourist FC until they had settled the said bill of over seven hundred thousand Naira, (N700, 000).
The name of the hotel was given as Down Town Hotel, located at MCC- Uratta Road in Owerri.
The manager of the hotel, Mr. Emma Oparanozie, it was also gathered insisted that ” the players will not be allowed to go into their rooms to take their belongings until they pay me my money.”
The players,he revealed had lodged in the hotel for over one month without the management of the top league side paying a dime.
The enraged hotel manager said ,” they are owing me over N700,000. I have been feeding them for over a month now. They should pay me and leave. I don’t even want them here again. They want to leave for Kaduna this morning but that will not happen until they give me my money.
“The General Manager of the club was here this morning, asking me to allow the players leave for Kaduna but I said no. They must pay me first. This is what they did to me last year. As I speak to you now Heartland Queens are owing me N1.6m being cost for room accommodations and feeding. “They should ask the state government to give me my money. I don’t want them again”.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Club, Solomon Onu, said that the issue will be settled.
According to him, ” I am not aware of the development but if there is any issue it will be settled because the owner of the hotel is a football enthusiast and member of the Heartland FC family.”
It will be recalled that Heartland FC is currently sitting on the 18th position on the league table with 23 points after 24 matches.
The players had earlier protested over several months of non- payment of salaries and allowances.