Four of the five TNM Super League clubs in the Southern Region have endorsed the newly-established Football Players Association of Malawi (Fpam) and have agreed to contribute a cut of their percentage from gate collections.
Champions Be Forward Wanderers, Azam Tigers, Red Lions and newly-promoted Nchalo United have welcomed the association and pledged full support after its executive committee, led by general secretary (GS) Ernest Mangani, visited and briefed the clubs last week.
Nyasa Big Bullets FC are yet to be visited and, according to Mangani, Fpam will have a meeting with Bullets tomorrow before approaching other Super League clubs in the Central and Northern regions later this month.
Despite that, the clubs have requested FAM, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) to as well throw a meaningful share of their percentage from gate revenue into the association.
Nchalo United chairperson Peter Chiipanthenga said the introduction of the players association is long overdue.
“We have seen some players that were doing well during their prime but are now wallowing in poverty at least a year after quitting active football. We welcome the coming in of this association and are happy to have a body that will look into the players’ welfare on our behalf,” he said.
Wanderers GS Mike Butao said: “We are of the idea that, as clubs, we should contribute something towards Fpam’s operations. However, we believe that clubs interests will be accommodated because if you look at this association, there is no clause on how the clubs’ interests will be safeguarded.”
Mangani expressed delight at the positive response Fpam has received from the clubs so far and promised to work towards fulfilling some of the clubs’ needs, as well.
“So far, we have already incorporated a collective bargaining agreement [CBA], which is less like a tripartite agreement among the players, the clubs and Fpam. Each will have its own rights and obligations so that when a player signs a contract with a club, the CBA should protect the interests of both the player and the club. There will be no room for bias,” he said.
Mangani said Fpam will be funded through membership subscriptions which will be introduce at an appropriate time.
Among the benefits that members are expected to get are coverage of players medical expenses through Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm), insurance for injuries through Nico General Insurance Company, educational training through Modern Educational and Training Institute (Meti), financial literacy education through Old Mutual Malawi and funeral services such as coffin and transportation when a member dies. n