Nyasa Big Bullets players have given their leadership a seven-day ultimatum to pay them their signing-on fees totalling K45 million or face unspecified action
The ultimatum was issued on Tuesday when the players summoned the club’s officials to a meeting in Blantyre which was attended by acting general secretary Kelvin Moyo and main supporters committee chairperson Stone Mwamadi.
At the meeting, the players expressed dissatisfaction on their welfare, in particular late payment of salaries and game bonus.
According to a player who asked for anonymity, they were initially promised that they would be paid the signing-on fees by April, but the club failed to honour the pledge.
The players have also accused the club’s leadership of bias towards a few selected players, who reportedly got part payment.
Apart from signing-on fees, the club also owes players transport money, which has resulted in the players facing problems to travel to their training base.
Moyo confirmed meeting the players on Tuesday and said the board was looking into the issue.
“It’s not an ultimatum as such. The players were expressing their concerns. The issue of signing-on fees was just one of the concerns they had,” he said.
Team captain Chiukepo Msowoya said he did not attend the Tuesday meeting.
He, however, acknowledged the concerns the players have raised, but said there was no need to jump the gun.
“Let’s tackle each issue separately. Let’s wait after June 30,” said Msowoya.
Bullets are not the only team facing signing on fee challenges with their players.
Max Bullets recently fired five players for protesting over signing-on fees which the club offered them.
Wanderers also have the same problem as some players are grumbling that they have not been paid their fees while others have.
Nigerian striker Amos Bello recently threatened to take Wanderers to court for failing to pay the transfer fee balance.
Silver Strikers sorted out signing on fees with seven players before the season started, but at a price since they ended up using a huge chunk of sponsorship money for the 2016 season.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) player transfer manager Casper Jangale has blamed both players and clubs for the signing-on fees setback.
He said: “The problem is two-fold. On the part of the club, it is a sign of poor administration. You budget based on projection of source of revenue such as sponsorship and gate collections against the wage bill. From there, the executive can now ask the technical panel which players they will need to buy.
“But from what is happening, it shows the teams did not do their planning well. That is why before the season even started, they had already blown half their sponsorship money on buying players they did not even need.
“On the other hand, we have players who rush to sign contracts without seeking advice on how to go about it. Most of them claim signing-on fees when their contracts do not clearly state how the money will be paid.”
Jangale also condemned meddling in other players’ contractual agreements.
“Players should know that contracts are personal and confidential. Every player negotiates his terms. There is no way player A can accuse a club of paying signing on fee for player X as if the terms are the same. They should not even compare. That is unacceptable,” he said.