By Ricky Zililo
The Zimbabwean pair of defender McClive Phiri and forward Terrence Dzukamanja are yet to be apprised about their future in the South African topflight after their club Bidvest Wits sold its franchise to lower division side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).
Phiri signed a two-year performance-based deal with Bidvest Wits in February and was due for a performance review at the end of the season, while Dzukamanja is in his second season at the Johannesburg-based club.
According to reports from South Africa, the Wits-TTM deal includes all players.
TTM want the team to relocate to Limpopo Province and its owner Lawrence Mulaudzi told football magazine KickOff that five Wits players will be allowed to move before the club becomes TTM, pending the Premier Soccer League approval.
It looks like Wits’ highest earners will either take salary cuts or be allowed to talk to other clubs.
It is not clear how much the Zimbabweans earn and Phiri’s business manager Dalu Bhebhe said they will only comment after getting formal communication.
“I think at the moment it will be premature to talk about the future of McClive or any other player because nothing has been communicated to players or their representatives. We can’t react to what we read in the press. Right now my client (Phiri) is working on getting into good shape so that when games resume, he fights for a regular place,” said Bhebhe.
The futures of all current Wits players as well as head coach Gavin Hunt will now be a hot topic of discussion due to the contractual implications of a change of status and ownership.
Indications are that TTM will need to renegotiate contracts with all Wits players they intend to keep on.
According to KickOff, high-profile PSL agent Mike Makaab was quick to respond to questions on social media addressing the issue of players’ rights, suggesting there are likely to be several free agents in Braamfontein-based side soon.
Sowetan reported that Wits coach Gavin Hunt was upset with the sale of the club.
“I’m not good. I don’t want to say too much, let’s talk another day. Right now I don’t want to talk too much about it, you know, (I am) very upset about it.
“Anyway, I don’t want to get involved. We must finish well and we must put this team in Africa, that’s the most important thing. Right now I just don’t want to talk about anything. We need to see that everything happens right. Sorry my friend, I don’t want to talk about it anymore”, Hunt told Sowetan. The Chronicle