Much has been made about the father of Brazilian footballer Neymar who is on the verge of sealing a world record move to PSG for a fee in the region of £198m.
Various report has pointed fingers at his father as the one behind the player’s seemingly lack of loyalty to Barcelona, which has played a role in stalling his move to PSG.
However his father isn’t much different from that of Nigerian star Kelechi Iheanacho who is on the verge of sealing a £25m move to Leicester City from Manchester City , but a dispute over his image right between two agents has stalled his move.
Owngoalnigeria.com bring to you a piece from Wale Ajayi who is privy to information gathered from sources close to the player, and he revealed how Pa Iheanacho played a role in the impasse.
The Beginning: From 2013 to 2017, Kelechi Promise Iheancho has had five different agents. Starting from (a) Graham Daniel Heydon and his partner Chinedu, in which the father cashed in €5,000 (Five Thousand Euro), to (b) Femi Kingston Olaniran and World In Motion who assisted in paying the cost of laying to rest the late mother of the player – Mercy Iheanacho, who died of a mysterious sickness.
To (c) the American Henry Galeano and First Eleven Management whose financial commitment might be upped compared to others, (d) Raymond Hassey of the same sport company and now (e) David Manasseh and Stellar Group, the biggest sport agency in the UK.
Note: The two agencies in (d) and (e) are locked in litigation with Kelechi Iheanacho for over one and a half year.
James Iheanacho reminds me about the father of Lonzo Ball, La Var Ball (readers might do well to google him), so notorious and clever was James he maneuvered Graham refusing the FC Porto deal, refused to sign for Femi citing he was bereaved but allowed Kelechi and his uncle to sign, while Henry got his paper works tightly knitted and right.
When the player turned 18, the Raymond Hassey contract came in force, so also the conspiracies, intrigues, lies and greed that has since unsettled the player because he made himself somewhat an object only to be used.
Litigation Drama: For those who have inside knowledge of the transfer of Kelechi Iheanacho to Manchester City, there is a familiar figure a certain Robert Calvin Zanicky aka Bob, a Director at First Eleven Management who was invited to meet James Iheanacho by Dan Uni KaKwi (a diploma holder from the National Institute of Sport, Lagos and had his internship in the Technical Department of the Nigeria Football Federation, though on his facebook page (his dearest platform) referred to himself as former coach of National Under 15).
In 2011, Robert Calvin Zanicky had a no contest bargain in a case of corruption of minor which was public knowledge to everyone; James Iheanacho, Kelechi, Dan, Garba Mohammed Yaro-Yaro and City football officials involved in closing the deal except for those who know him as Bob.
At which point Dan working with First Eleven was promised some payment and an opportunity to further his coaching education oversea so as to obtain a license in UEFA, while James was to be paid £350,000 as family bonus by First Eleven Management.
The promises to these individuals were partly fulfilled with Dan receiving some payment and James receiving £175,000 which is 50% of the family share but by the time Kelechi turned 18 years, Dan had not been settled to go for his coaching course, also little did James know his son, Kelechi, has been tutored unconsciously in mastering his trait of greed.
Kelechi vehemently protested First Eleven Management paying the balance of £175,000 into his father’s account, stating “it is family money not my father’s money, after all I am the one playing the football, I will see to it that everyone of my family is settled” a shift in how James actually sees Kelechi as ego’m (meaning in Igbo my money) and not a football player or son.
The Actors: James having been at cross purpose with First Eleven Management started accusing the sport agency of stealing from him little unaware his ‘disciple-son’ had collected the money. As they say misery loves company, Dan was displeased with First Eleven on one part and James on the other end, the conspiracy is now set to be hatched.
James in his usual manner still in the dark that Kelechi has been paid began mounting pressure on Kelechi not to work with First Eleven Management, breathing and threatening with curses, while Dan was active on facebook labelling the Sport Agency as fraud.
From the activities of Dan on facebook, came a sudden intrusion of Kelechi’s friend in the UK, in the person of Kingsley Ogbodo, former player of Enugu Rangers (as known formerly) with a brief playing career in Hungary, who listened and had audience with Dan, then decided he would not be played for a fool like Dan.
According to Andy Stanley ‘greed is not a financial issue; It’s a heart issue’. With unceasing pressure on Kelechi from his father, Kingsley suggested to Kelechi join a bigger Sport agency who will pay what his dad expected from First Eleven; of course, such gesture from the big sport agency will not come for free, he must be there client.
The next big question is how will they get out of Ray Hassey/First Eleven Management? The puzzle they thought was simple but illogical. The claim was to say Robert Calvin Zanicky impersonated Henry Galeano when Dan brought him to Nigeria and that they were also defrauded. An argument that could not be sustained because Henry was the intermediary that signed the Manchester City contract met by all including Kennedy Ezenwere, the President of Taye Academy. Then, the argument for fraud, which was difficult to prove, been made aware that under the law he who alleges must prove.
The only window left to exploit was the Robert Calvin Zanicky no contest case on corruption of minors in 2011. Carefully orchestrated, James Iheancho and Dan reached out to Tunde Liadi of Sporting Life and another journalist of www.africanfootball.com to publish the article which was captioned “Iheanacho’s agent slammed for sexual molestation” 27th September 2015; Which became an excuse for the player to breach his contract with First Eleven Management, asserting that his name has been associated with such mess, feigning ignorance that he was not aware of the case against Robert Zanicky but the testimony of Dan the chief conspirator states otherwise.
Since the article surfaced Dan has been on the payroll of the Iheanachos from his house rent to the promise of getting him a coaching course oversea but the conflict created is not such that will go anytime soon. From the case in the English FA arbitration, to the endorsement contract litigation in the US and a libel suit that may soon follow, could these all be how greed can ruin a promising career? Iheancho is supposed to be our national asset, who with his peers were indiscriminately given national awards by the previous administration who had a knack of conferring honour easily to the deserved good and the questionable bad, such as age cheats, looters of treasury, forgers of certificate etc.
Well said by Vikrant Parsai “he who wants everything every time will lose everything any time”
Let those who have the ears of this king, drum him the consequence of greed maybe we might save him from the danger of oblivion inching closer to his gate.