Nyasa Big Bullets have been thrown into a fresh turmoil following the introduction of a performance contract which some senior players have refused to sign and are boycotting training in protest.
Fed up with the team’s performance that has seen the People’s Team collect just 12 points from a possible 24, the club’s management hopes the performance contract will jack-up the players.
The new contract among others, freezes game bonuses which the players used to receive after playing a draw.
Underperforming players also risk a salary cut, according to the performance contract.
However, the move has attracted protest from some players. So far, only 18 out of 30 players have signed.
Some of the players that have not signed the performance contract are Kondwani Kumwenda, Pilirani Zonda, Yamikani Fodya, Dalitso Sailesi, Ernest Kakhobwe, Miracle Gabeya, John Lanjesi and Mike Mkwate.
The players used to get K12 500 for a draw.
“If they win, they will be getting K25 000 each. If they draw or lose they will get nothing,” said the club’s chairperson Noel Lipipa.
“This arrangement will ensure that the players are focused on winning.”
He said the players were supposed to sign the contract at the beginning of the season.
“But that was overlooked. This is why the players are not giving their best.”
“The code of conduct is not a new thing. Even in other workplaces employees are given targets,” he said.
But one of the players who are refusing to sign the contracts said the move is a breach of the personal contracts the players already signed with the club.
“When I signed a contract with the club, we agreed on the terms and it is breach of my running contract for the club to introduce new arrangements that are contrary to what is in my contract. I will refer the matter to FAM [Football Association of Malawi],” said the player.
But Lipipa said they will give the players until 10 July to sign or leave the club.
“Nobody is bigger than Bullets; not even myself,” he warned.
FAM players transfer matching system manager Casper Jangale called for both parties to negotiate the new terms.
He said: “Performance contracts are a welcome development. But the terms must be introduced on mutual agreement. They should not be forced on the players. It is like they are an addendum to running contracts. So players have a right to accept or refuse the terms.
“When the players signed the running contracts, they were told they would get a bonus for a draw. There is no way you can just wake up and change this without the players’ consent.” n