Football Players Association (FPA) is developing measures to combat players’ deprivation of game time claimed to be rife among top clubs that monopolise the transfer market.
The association’s general secretary (GS) Ernest Mangani, in an interview yesterday, said before the 2020 season kicks off, the body plans to sign an agreement with Super League of Malawi (Sulom) which would see all players offered chances to play.
“What we are working on now is what we call collective bargaining agreement which will ensure that all the players’ activities revolve around that agreement. This will ensure we stop exploitation of players and depriving them game time,” he said.
Mangani also said the pact will ensure that clubs are not disadvantaged by being forced to feature players that are not effective.
“The agreement will be mutual because we don’t want to affect teams’ performances. We can have an arrangement to ensure that clubs release players they are not effectively utilising,” he said.
Mangani said the lack of game time has disrupted careers of many footballers; hence, the agenda.
He said: “If he [a player] is not playing he’s missing out on some financial benefits. The other disadvantage is that he loses form.
“Added to that, a player is an asset so when he’s not playing, he loses value. In the end his market value diminishes and can be sold cheaply.”
The GS also said they will sensitise players to insist on having clauses in their contracts which guarantees them game time.
“For example, they can bargain to play not less than 50 percent of the matches per season. This is what professional players insist on elsewhere, but here in Malawi you rarely find such clauses,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) club licensing and compliance manager Casper Jangale agreed with Mangani, saying most players sign contracts which jeopardise their careers.
“It’s rare to see a contract that has clauses like game time. It is down to players’ ignorance of their rights,” he said.
Jangale, however, said that although they are no such clauses in the contracts, Fifa rules stipulate that a player that has played less than10 percent of his club’s matches has a right to terminate his contract.
Fifa’s regulation on the status and transfer of players reads: “An established professional who has, in the course of the season, appeared in fewer than 10 percent of the official matches in which his club has been involved may terminate his contract prematurely on the ground of sporting just cause…
“A professional may only terminate his contract on this basis in the 15 days following the last official match of the season of the club with.”
However, Jangale said despite the rule being in place, no Malawian player has offered to terminate his contract on such grounds.
“Most of the players are not aware of such rules, I believe. So, if anything, this is enough reason for them to belong to the players association where they will be trained more on such issues,” he said.
Responding to the proposed agreement, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they will analyse the proposal with clubs before being party to it.
“Other than signing these documents, the players’ association should encourage the players to perform well and impress the coaches. We will comment better once we have seen the proposal,” he said.
Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thoko Chimbali acknowledged that top teams sometimes have huge appetite for buying players.
However, he said pressuring the technical panel to feature all players would hurt the teams’ performances.
He said: “Some are not featured because of form. But I think the best way is that we get rid of players that do not suit the coaches plans.
“This is what Silver has done. We have a lean squad of best players.”
The Bankers laid off over 15 players this year in one of the biggest clear-outs in the club’s history.