Some topo-flight clubs owe their players over K10 million in outstanding salaries, signing on fees and game bonuses from last season, Football Players Association of Malawi (FPA) has said.
FPA general secretary Ernest Mangani yesterday said the only teams exempted are from military and Malawi Police Service, meaning the 11 others in the 16-team elite league are playing hide and seek to pay their players.
However, while others have admitted having the outstanding dues, big clubs such as Nyasa Big Bullets, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Silver Strikers have distanced themselves, describing the FPA’s claims as unfounded and baseless.
Before the start of this season, the FPA pleaded with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) not to issue licences to the clubs unless they paid player outstanding dues in full but Mangani yesterday said they were shocked their request hit a blank wall.
However, Mangani said yesterday that he was shocked that the request was not carried out.
He said: “As we speak, the situation is becoming worse because the outstanding dues have slightly increased. FAM, through their licensing office, assured us that they would enforce the rules but up to now nothing has happened and our members are suffering.
“FAM has not responded to our letter and we are confident to say it is unfortunate that the body with the mandate to instil football business discipline encourages the exploitation of players.”
Karonga United general secretary Ramzy Simwaka yesterday said they struggle to keep the club financially afloat but they try their best to prioritise the welfare of players.
“It is good to prioritise the welfare of our players but sometimes, it has to be understood that things do not work to our expectation. We already told our players that due to our financial situation, we might be delaying to pay them their dues,” he said.
On his part, TN Stars general secretary Chifundo Kaliwo Nyirenda said it is not on for the FPA to come up with such a demand, considering what teams,
especially self-sponsored, are going through.
“Such a demand suits well institutional clubs or those that are well sponsored. As TN Stars, we rely on contributions from well-wishers to run our operations. However, we are doing our best to sort out the challenges,” he said.
But Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga and Silver Strikers communications officer Daniel David Dauda yesterday said they have clean financial slates with their players.
Chigoga said: “I think the FPA does not know what it is talking about to include us on such a list. The truth is that Bullets has zero overdue payables to all our players.”
FAM club licencing and compliance manager Casper Jangale yesterday said as per Fifa rules, his organisation’s concern borders around ensuring that clubs pay salaries to their players within a space of two months and “at present, the clubs are able to comply”.