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No pay cuts for Wanderers, Silver Strikers players

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Mike Butao

Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers have assured their players of full pay despite the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Local clubs face an extended off-season break after kickoff of the TNM Super League was halted at the eleventh hour due to the pandemic.

The suspension of action has brought about fears of a financial crisis among clubs as they will not be getting revenue generated from gate collections.

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Clubs in most of the world’s top leagues have been forced to announce pay cuts on their players and officials as games are not being played.

However, local representative of Wanderers’ sponsor Be Forward, Mike Butao, said there was no need to panic at the moment.

“Japan is on lockdown at the moment but I was discussing the Coronavirus issue two days ago with Be Forward’s vice president for marketing. There will be no salary cuts for Wanderers players. We appreciate that the league might run over into next year and if that happens, the additional costs could be considered in next year’s budget.

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“The good thing is that the team has stopped training at the moment, so the only major cost is salaries which are already catered for in the budget.

We know that games will come thick and fast when the suspension is lifted and patronage will be affected by Coronavirus fears. I therefore encourage the club to draft and submit a supplementary budget for consideration,” Butao said.

Wanderers are among clubs that have a huge wage bill in domestic football. TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver also have a big wage bill to cater for their expensive squads.

The Nomads get an annual sponsorship of K150 million from the Japanese second hand car dealer.

Wanderers, Bullets and Silver each spend over K10 million per month on wages for players and technical staff.

But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the giants have suspended training sessions. This means clubs are no longer paying out training allowances to their players.

Silver Chief Executive Officer, Thokozani Chimbali, said their players will be entitled to full wages during this period.

“The salaries were already budgeted for and nothing is changing. The players will also continue getting their upkeep in full. Of course we do not know when the season will kick off but our players and technical staff are assured of their wages in full,” Chimbali said.

Albert Chigoga

Bullets Chief Administrator, Albert Chigoga, said the club had not discussed effecting pay cuts in the event that the offseason break was extended further.

Last week, some Super League clubs asked for government intervention on the financial impact of Covid-19 as they feared that their revenue base would drop drastically.

Apart from government sponsored sides, several clubs in the Super League are owned by individuals and communities.

Teams such as Silver, Blue Eagles, Red Lions, Moyale Barracks, Kamuzu Barracks, Civo Service United and Mafco rely operate on government coffers.

Players in Malawi Defence Force and Malawi Police Service teams get wages by virtue of being soldiers and policemen.

Wanderers and Bullets are the only teams that are sponsored by private entities.

But teams such as Mighty Tigers, Ntopwa, Karonga United, TN Stars, Chitipa United, Ekwendeni Hammers and Mzuzu Warriors rely on sponsorship from well-wishers.

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