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Milking thin cow

Giants signing players from minnows for free

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Casper Jangale

The plight of most struggling Super League teams will worsen if giants keep on signing promising players from the minnows for free or peanuts due to laxity in transfer procedures, Malawi News can reveal.

Some of the Super League teams have faulted Football Association of Malawi for conniving with top clubs to reveal contract situations of some promising players.

The clubs feel giants take advantage of contract situations of budding players to manipulate them to dump their teams.

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Mighty Tigers Technical Director Robin Alufandika said each season his club loses players to big teams in controversial circumstances.

“It is pathetic that someone at Fam leaks information to clubs that some of these players could leave their clubs for free upon seeing the contracts of our players. We have so many examples that left us for free just because someone released information to the teams. Of course in some instances it is the players who also leak such information,” he said.

Alufandika said Malawi needed to introduce transfer rules that protect hopeless teams.

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“In our case, we go to the  rural areas to identify players and then we develop them. At this point, the authorities allow us to feature players with the so called half-baked contracts. Once the players improve that’s when they find faults in our contracts. I feel we should have rules that protect teams like us. We need to be paid and also be entitled to future deals of the players,” he said.

The development comes as relegated Rumphi United have threatened to take action against Super League teams that have approached some of their promising players, including striker Trouble Kajani.

“Any team that wishes to sign our players must express official interest through the executive. It is pitiful that some of these giants know that player tapping is illegal in football but they still go ahead behind our backs to woo our players. This is bad and we will report them so that the law should take its course,” Rumphi General Secretary Jones Mackton said.

And Ntopwa FC owner Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman, whose team was relegated from the Super League last season, has no kind words for Fam, saying they let giants prey on the hopeless teams.

“Most of the domestic free transfers must be investigated and you will soon notice who feeds the clubs with information about contract situations.

“Even if we say that our players had no running contracts but out of humanitarian grounds we were supposed to earn something. This is why some clubs pay developmental fees. I can assure you that only Nyasa Big Bullets paid us reasonably when they signed Mphatso Magaleta. I did not want to frustrate some youngsters who left us unceremoniously. Yet we spent resources on them,” he said.

Fam Club Licencing and Compliance Manager Casper Jangale, who is also responsible of Transfer Matching System, said there was need to sensitise local clubs that player contracts were supposed to be made public.

“All over the world it is a standard procedure to announce the duration of players contracts to avoid things like player tapping. This is a route we are taking and from next season all players contracts will be made public.

“It is unfortunate that the clubs think like this. I think we need to hold some sensitisation seminars to equip teams with knowledge. Teams are entitled to developmental fee once the player signs his or her first professional contracts and this applies to those aged between 12 and 23,” he said.

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