By Robson Sharuko
Warriors coach, Zdravko “Loga’’ Logarusic, earns a salary of US$7 000 a month and is likely to have pocketed, at least, US$70 000 by the time he leads his team into a competitive football match for the first time.
Loga’s financial package was never made public, when he was unveiled as the Warriors coach, with the gaffer even claiming he would have chosen other jobs, which paid him better, had he not been inspired by the dream to take the Warriors to another level.
The Croat’s deal, though, is dwarfed by what KickOff.com claimed was the deal struck by Serbian coach, Milutin “Micho’’ Sredojevic, who was unveiled as Chipolopolo coach last month.
The South African publication claimed Micho, who was initially touted as the frontrunner for the Warriors job, was set to get US$600 000 over the two years.
The Serb, according to KickOff.com, was set to get US$25 000 a month, with the Zambian Government contributing US$10 000, and the Football Association of Zambia injecting US$15 000 monthly.
However, the Ministry of Sport in Zambia are yet to provide approval for that deal, amid some boardroom battles between some of the ministry’s officials and the FAZ leadership, triggering reports Micho could walk away from his role as Chipolopolo coach.
Loga emerged as the unanimous pick for the ZIFA board, in their search for the substantive coach of the Warriors, and was unveiled in February this year, just a month after putting pen to paper, in a two-year deal.
By the time Loga’s contract expires, in January 2022, the coach would have earned US$168 000, in salary, ironically the same amount that Belgian gaffer, Tom Saintfiet, eventually pocketed for coaching the Warriors for just a day, before his deportation.
Saintfiet was accused of working without a work permit, amid a furious row between ZIFA and their Namibian counterparts over the way he had clandestinely signed a contract with local football authorities while, at the same time, having a pending deal with the Namibians.
The Belgian took his case to FIFA, demanding US$180 000, which was only settled in December 2015, just a month before the world football governing body’s deadline, for the payment to be made, elapsed.
Had the ZIFA board failed to settle that payment, the Warriors, who had already been banned from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after the association failed to pay another coach, Valinhos, would have been barred from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Saintfiet’s contract with ZIFA stipulated that he would get the following:
a) Net salary of US$8 000 per month (this excluded ALL proceeds received from participating in competitive matches outside Zimbabwe and the salary would be reviewed and adjusted upwards with 6% to cover inflation).
b) Transport — KB ISUZU Truck with fuel allowance.
c) Bonus — US$2 000, if the team wins a game.
d) Bonus — US$1 000-00, if the team draws a game.
e) Further, the coach shall be paid back all reasonable travelling expenses incurred by him in the execution of his duties and obligation under this agreement.
f) The above stated figures shall be reviewed from time to time.
g) The employer (ZIFA) shall furnish the employee with three return tickets to Europe per year. Insurance, health care and rentals — the employer shall pay the employee the sum of US$12 000, after tax, per year for the same.
h) Rentals for the coach’s apartment in Germany at the start of the contract year.
i) Social security and pension fund
j) Health insurance policy held with the Belgian Government health insurer at the start of the contract.
However, The Herald can today reveal that ZIFA first offered Loga US$6 500, for his monthly salary, but the coach and his management team successfully negotiated for the amount to be raised to US$7 000 a month.
It could not be established how much Loga will be getting, in other related perks like his winning bonuses, or if he settled for an arrangement similar to Saintfiet where he would get his requirements in Europe also settled by the association.
Reports in our sister newspaper, H-Metro, last week suggested Loga was unhappy with the late payments of his dues when he took the home-based Warriors through a camp for the 2020 CHAN finals.
However, the camp was abandoned after the tournament was postponed indefinitely in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, with FIFA ordering their confederations to scrape all the international matches which were set for this month and next month.
Loga, though, is unlikely to take charge of the Warriors, in a competitive match, anytime soon with the 2021 AFCON finals, which were set for this month, having been postponed indefinitely.
“Following the growing concerns of the COVID-19 virus and the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) describing it as pandemic, CAF has decided to postpone the following competitions until further notice:
l Total AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Match Day 3 and 4 of the qualifiers scheduled for 25 – 31 March 2020;
l FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup Qualifiers: scheduled for 20 – 22 March 2020 and 27- 29 March 2020;
lTotal Women’s AFCON 2020 Qualifiers: scheduled for 8-14 April 2020.
“A new schedule shall be announced in due time.’’
The initial plan was for the matches, which were set for this month, to be staged in June, should the situation around the world — which is battling coronavirus — improve significantly.
However, that appears to be a wild card, with infections rising across the continent, and a number of African countries being forced to take drastic measures to try and contain the spread of this virus.
To stage AFCON qualifiers in June, just two months from now, appears to be a wild card that was thrown by the CAF leaders. The most likely window, for such matches to be held, could be either October or November and, if that is the case, Loga would have picked, at least, US$70 000 before he marches into his first competitive assignment as Warriors coach. The Herald