Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has warned clubs not to impose salary cuts without prior agreements with the players.
This follows reports that some teams including Be Forward Wanderers had effected pay cuts following the Covid-19 crisis. Wanderers effected pay cuts after their sponsor Be Forward Limited of Japan reduced funding following loss of business due to the pandemic.
In a latest development, Nyasa Big Bullets management also disclosed plans to effect a 50 percent pay cut, a thing which has backfired as players are rejecting the proposal.
Fam Transfers Systems Manager Casper Jangale, who is also Club Licensing Manager, said salary cuts are not mandatory.
“We are aware that clubs are struggling as a result of being inactive due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has hit the whole world. Our players are at liberty to keep on receiving the agreed salaries in the contracts. No club has the mandate to impose that on players against their contracts unless both parties agree to do so,” he said.
Jangale said it was a tricky issue as players abide by what is stipulated in the contract.
“We have an example of Mesult Ozil who is still refusing to have his salary cut at Arsenal [English Premier League side] because he is backed by the contract. Much as we are aware that teams are struggling, we would advise them to go into mutual agreements with the players but not imposing decisions,” he said.
Former Fam general secretary, George Kaudza Masina, said the current football situation in the country is awkward.
“Teams have the obligation to pay their players with or without sponsorship whereas players need to play games to be paid and teams can’t generate any revenue due to suspension of football matches. Coincidentally, contracts with players do not have clauses for emergencies for things like Covid-19. I find this tricky but players need to be paid as per their contracts,” Masina said.
Meanwhile, calls to kick off the 2020 football in the country are growing each day with some fans and officials asking authorities to emulate political parties that are breaching Covid-19 precautionary measures.
Parties are holding rallies attracting huge crowds against the government’s directive prohibiting public gatherings and social distance.
However, both Fam and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) have stood firm rejecting such calls saying they were following government’s directive.
It is now three months without football in the country. Most clubs depend on gate collections to pay players their salaries, game bonuses and transport allowance.
Some teams including Karonga United, Mzuzu Warriors and Chitipa United are also sailing in troubled waters financially after failing to pay their players for not less than two month.
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.