The Board of Directors of Accra Hearts of Oak has placed an indefinite suspension on Coach Frank Nuttall's contract after it emerged that he was negatively influencing players from renewing their contracts with the club and also engaging in player deals it considered unethical.
A statement released after an emergency board meeting last Monday confirmed the Scotman’s suspension and accused him of conducting himself in “unsporting and unethical behaviours which contradicted with the club’s code of conduct”.
He is to face a three-member committee chaired by Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, with Mrs Ivy Heward-Mills, a former High Court judge; and
Frank Nwokolo Nelson as members. They are to investigate him and submit their report to the board by Friday.
Although the club’s statement did not indicate the coach's offence, sources say Coach Nuttall impressed upon some players of the club to resist the temptation of extending their contracts with the Rainbow club with the promise of securing them lucrative deals abroad.
That alleged advice is suspected to be the genesis of player revolt in the Phobian camp, with some players, including skipper Thomas Abbey, Vincent Atingah, Kwame Kizito and Leonard Tawiah refusing to extend their contracts, while Ivorian import, Robin Gnagne, has dumped the club to seek greener pastures abroad.
In fact, it has also been alleged that the coach advised some of the players to abandon their agents and sign under his agency, NM Football Consultancy owned by Scotsman Neil Murray, as the only guarantee of securing a deal outside.
Hearts’ nimble-footed midfielder, Winful Cobbina, is said to have fallen for that bait and has since signed onto the coach’s agency, insisting that he (Cobbina) saw nothing wrong with the coach’s action.
Interestingly, sources close to the Graphic Sports said that the 48-year-old Nuttall, formerly of Kenyan side, Gor Mahia, admitted his guilt during interrogation at a board meeting last Monday when the evidence was brought before him.
It is, however, unclear what the fate of the coach would be when the committee presents its report to the board on Friday.
Indications are that Nuttall, who once served just a month as assistant coach of Zamalek, might be severely sanctioned.