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The Csaba saga

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The president of the Ugandan Football Association Lawrence Mulindwa has threatened to take legal action against Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo. Laszlo left his post as Uganda national team boss twelve days ago without giving any notice, however his contract states that he must give at least three months.

“He is still our coach because he did not give us the three months notice as stated in his contract,” said Mulindwa. “He didn’t hand over the house, car and other items before he left. We are professional people and hope that Csaba also behaves in a professional manner.”

Fufa claim that Hearts are now due them around £60,000 and that the Edinburgh club have so far remained quiet on the matter. œNow there is no proper communication. They [Hearts] are quiet, said Mulindwa. He even went as far as to imply that Laszlo will be out of a job soon. œHe will lose his job and remain between Hearts and the Cranes if he is not careful.

The positivity after finally appointing a new manager, seven months after beginning the search, looked sure to be wiped out again and I have to say I quietly feared the worst.

These allegations also bothered Laszlo and yesterday he broke his silence by providing his account of recent events. œAt the moment there’s big confusion about this. I quit my contract with Uganda and I know it’s not easy for a team who had a very successful coach to lose him. But I had the possibility to quit even if a lot of times the Uganda FA said I was paid everything.

œThe contract was over four years, I had two years and two other years. But I had the possibility to break the contract because they’d broken it a lot of times already. Even before I came to Scotland I spoke with the president and he told me, ˜okay, if you want to go, we can’t keep you. We don’t want to cut your career, you’ve done a very good job here after negotiations you can go to Hearts’.

“For the last two months he [Mulindwa] didn’t give me my money until the last day before I came to Scotland to talk with Hearts. He gave it to me at the last minute, a cheque for the two months. Before, if I’d call he’d never answer his phone, I never had a chance to get my money. Suddenly there he was.

So there are two sides to every story. I quietly feared the worst when I first heard about this story over a week ago. Reports over the last few seasons have claimed that Hearts have been slow in paying certain payment, including money owed to Dunfermline for a cup tie last season and the full transfer fee for record signing Mirsad Beslija. It has also been claimed before that Hearts have been difficult to communicate on such issues.

Since hearing Laszlo’s comments I feel more at ease. It sounds plausible that Fufa breached his contract by not paying his wages on time and that he was paid in full only after he agreed to sign for Hearts. Laszlo even alluded to money he was due and had just received in his first ever interview as Hearts manager.

Of the house and car that Mulindwa claims the Romanian-born Hungarian failed to œhand over, Laszlo cheekily replied: “I got the car. The car is now in the compound. I had a house which I rented from FUFA, the house is still there. I didn’t take it in my pocket. Today I gave the possibility for my lawyer to go together with the FUFA people to give everything so things can be finalised officially.

“In the papers they say I haven’t given the car back. If FUFA want the car back, if they want to take the things from the house that is there. But I want to make this official, now my lawyer in Uganda can give the signature that everything is finished. For us in Europe this is normal but for them it is big trouble.”

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