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Three quarters of PSL clubs owe players money

By Nigel Mantongorere

HARARE – Three quarters of Premier Soccer League (PLS) clubs owe players money in the form of signing-on fees, winning bonuses and salaries from last season, the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) has claimed. 

Paul Gundani
Paul Gundani

Earlier this month, Dynamos players went on a two-day strike ahead of their African Champions League tie with AS Vita due to non-payment of winning bonuses dating back from last season.

Paul Gundani, the Fuz secretary-general, said  the players’ representative body is now considering lobbying the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the PSL to punish errant clubs.

“As Fuz we have encountered a lot of problems of clubs failing to pay their players from last season,” Gundani told the Daily News.

“At the moment, 70 percent of the clubs owe their players money going into the new season and we have continued to call upon both Zifa and the PSL to deal accordingly with defaulting club.

“What we have proposed to the PSL is that if a club fails to pay their players they must have the outstanding amounts deducted from their gate takings.

“If a club continues to fail its players then the league can even go on to deduct points from their tally.”

The former Zimbabwe international defender singled out Dynamos, CAPS United, Highlanders and relegated Monomotapa as the clubs with the highest number of cases before their office.

“At the end of last season these clubs owed their players a significant amount in outstanding payments and when some of the players intended to move, they thought they could write off those debts, which is wrong,” said Gundani.

“As a union, we wanted a football solution to these problems but it seems there is no solution in sight. In the absence of a football solution, we are forced to go to the Labour Court.

“Although that route of going to the Labour Court might take a long time, at least we are guaranteed that the players will get their dues at the end of the day.”

According to FifPro, the umbrella body of all football unions across the globe, a majority of clubs are finding it extremely hard to pay their players.

“One of the primary concerns for FifPro is to ensure that all players are paid in a timely fashion,” said FifPro in a statement.

“Non-payment of salaries and of obligations between clubs remains the biggest and most desperate problem for football. Given the epidemic nature of non-payment and disrespect of contracts a conscious focus must be placed on sanctions, deterrence and protection of creditors.”

FifPro is also calling for sanctions to be handed out to clubs that do not honour their contractual obligations with players.

Gundani said for the problem to end, the PSL must enforce its Club Licensing requirements.

“All these issues emanate from the fact that the PSL is not enforcing the Club Licensing regulations,” he said.

“We have to start from somewhere and if it means that we only have a league with fewer but well-funded teams then let it be.” Daily News

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