Big Bullets were sucked into fresh controversy yesterday after players boycotted training over unpaid bonuses ahead of their crucial Super League game against Moyale Barracks on Sunday.
While confirming the development, Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire accused external forces of inciting the boycott to suit their own interests. Two of the team’s senior players who asked for anonymity confided in The Nation that push had come to shove over the issue. The players claimed that they have not been paid game bonuses for all games played this season.
“If I am not mistaken, we have won three and drawn three league games as well,” said one of the players.
Bullets players get K13 000 each for a win and K3 000 for a draw.
“We are also owed upkeep and house allowances for about five months because there is a balance for last December while this year, we were only paid in April. They still owe us upkeep dues from January to this month [June], except for April,” he said.
Upkeep and training allowances are paid according to players’ seniority and grading. Those in grade A get K30 000 per month, B-graded players get K25 000 each while those in Grade C receive K22 500. The grades are determined by factors, including number of years with the team and expertise.
“Management has paid us signing-on fees for this season in full, but there are arrears for last season and we feel enough is enough,” said the other player. According to the two players, the entire team is wondering as to what the team’s management has done with the K10 million from Carlsberg Malawi Limited and also the improved revenue from the gates.
However, Mkandawire appealed to the players’ understanding, claiming that the club spends more than it earns. “Just recently, one of our banks took us to task over a K1.5 million overdraft and we also have outstanding transfer fee balances for the players we bought at the start of the season,” said Mkandawire.