With just a day before the May 10 deadline, six top-flight league teams are yet to submit mandatory players’ contracts as demanded by the Super League of Malawi (Sulom), The Nation has learnt.
The teams are Mighty Wanderers, Big Bullets, Silver Strikers, Mafco, Red Lions and Moyale Barracks, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda confirmed on Wednesday.
According to Banda, players’ ignorance of what the contracts mean to their career prospects and clubs’ struggles to meet contractual obligations have emerged as reasons behind the delay.
“Being a new phenomenon, players have been seeking clarification. There is a lack of understanding as to what the contracts entail.
Some players feared the contracts could hinder their prospects of signing for foreign teams. The biggest challenge is that the clubs are required to pay the players’ signing-on fees,” he said.
As per Fifa requirements, clubs that do not sign their players on contracts will not be allowed to feature them after May 10. But Banda could not explain how this will be enforced.
Bullets chaiperson Malinda Chinyama said in the last two seasons, they were unable to pay the players signing-on fees at once, hence the delays. He admitted that they owe the players in arrears.
“It is all about financial obligations. A big club such as Bullets cannot just sign a player without signing-on fees. But with the Carlsberg sponsorship money in, we should give the players copies of the contract today [Wednesday] and have them sign,” Chinyama explained.
Before the introduction of the contracts, most clubs did not sign their players but relied on Sulom players’ registration identity cards.
The situation led to chaotic players’ transfers and loss of income. Most players have signed for foreign clubs, especially in Mozambique for free.
The case is slightly different with Silver who had their own written agreements with players before Sulom introduced standards contracts, the Bankers general secretary Mike Tembo said on Wednesday.