Nyasa Big Bullets players have rejected the club’s proposal to effect 50 percent pay cut due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The development comes after the team announced plans to reduce the players’ salary by 50 percent in response to the pandemic which has grounded most sectors of life worldwide.
Bullets captain John Lanjesi and his vice Chimango Kayira reportedly petitioned the teams’ management on behalf of the rest of the players. The letter was delivered on Wednesday.
One of the players, who did not want to be mentioned, said all the players were against taking pay cut as their livelihood has been affected due to absence of game bonuses and training allowance.
The player felt they were being victimised as the impending cut does not reflect present cost of living standards.
“Most players come from far areas and they also look after families. Currently we are paying rent and other utility bills. So how are we going to survive if they effect 50 percent pay cut? Imagine if a player gets K100,000 how then is he going to support his family? This is one of the reasons we wrote the management to reconsider their stand,” the source said.
The player while sympathising with the club for sailing through troubled waters, due to Covid-19 reiterated that 50 percent cut on the players would be suicidal.
“We don’t have any source of income,” he said.
Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga confirmed the players had written the club voicing out their concerns.
“We are indeed in receipt of the letter but as a club we haven’t met to discuss the matter. I am actually meeting [the Chief Executive Officer] Escort Chinula over the matter,” he said.
Former Bullets Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Jim Kaluwa has backed the players’ decision to protest against the proposed salary cut.
“Zimenezo zisachitike ayi. [That should not happen not at Bullets please]. We gave these people the club under commercialisation guidelines to improve the welfare of the players. Things have been okay until now when players are being told about salary cut. This should not happen at Bullets let them find ways of making money and not cutting the players’ salaries,” Kaluwa said.
Bullets were bought by Nyasa Manufacturing Company. Currently the company is under pressure to provide three club houses, construct a stadium and buy another bus.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.