Only four out of 16 Super League teams are meeting the minimum wage for Super League CAF-C coaches as stipulated by the National Coaches Association of Malawi (NCAM) in June 2020.
NCAM pegged the monthly minimum package at K745 000, a development that Football Association of Malawi (FAM) acknowledged.
According to NCAM, they came-up with the figure after checking what coaches from neighbouring countries get at that level.
NCAM general secretary (GS) Davie Mpina said so far, Nyasa Big Bullets, Silver Strikers, Be Forward Wanderers and Civil Service United are complying with the set standard.
He said it is disappointing that a few clubs are complying.
Mpina said they have resorted to establish a task force to be headed by a legal expert to enforce clubs to comply.
He said: “This is something that FAM approved. It did not come from the blues. We are disappointed that only few teams are complying. All in all, we will push on.”
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda said they should not be blamed because coaches deal with FAM.
FAM GS Alfred Gunda said the coaches’ body proposed for improved wages of its members, but financial problem is affecting clubs to do it.
“At no point can a one size fits all be applied. We need to be honest and fair while at the same time being realistic. Surely, wages need to be manageable and sustainable and that’s why each employer enters an agreement with an employee against what they can afford,” he said.
Speaking earlier, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the idea of a minimum wage is good.
He said: “Still more, there is need for the coaches association to discuss the benchmarks with clubs who are the employers so that there is a buy-in. This is one of the critical roles that the coaches association can play.”
In his remarks, Chitipa United team manager Watson Kabaghe said the standards of football in the country do not warrant a community team such as Chitipa to spend that much on a coach.
“I will be very frank on this one. We may want to provide the coach such an amount, but we need to first commercialise the game to a point that good financial returns are realised,” he said.
Mzuzu Warriors GS Donnex Chilongo said they are failing to adhere to the minimum wage because the team has no sponsorship.
“It is a way to go, but we cannot do that because the club has no sound source of money. What is important is that we should make our clubs financially stable first, otherwise coaches deserve better perks,” he said.
Ntopwa FC technical director and owner Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman blamed the government for not creating a conducive environment to attract the corporate world to sponsor teams.
“Malawi is the only country where football is cheap. People want to enter in the stadiums and watch games free of charge.Worse still government is failing to provide incentives such as tax waiver to companies willing to sponsor teams. Up until this is addressed, can teams pay coaches the required amount as specified by the coaches association,” he said.
Moyale Barracks GS Flao Mwale said it is difficult for institutional clubs to comply with what the coaches’ body set because their technical personnel is under government payroll.
“In the first place, the set standard package is on the higher side, considering that football in Malawi is still taken as extracurricular and for institutional teams like ours, the technical panel is on the government payroll and the package they get is based on their grade.
There is need for proper review of the whole issue to come up with agreeable stand on how it can be accommodated,” he said.
Mighty Tigers GS Akuzike Kafwamba said the club is surviving on contributions; hence, they cannot meet coaches’ minimum wage.
“We would love to double the amount set by the national coaches, but the individual contribution that are currently making sure that the team should still be in operation cannot manage such a rate set by the national coaches association,” he said.
Soccer analyst George Kaudza Masina said the whole system is rotten, starting with coaches themselves who accept anything that come their way without bargaining for a better package.
He said: “It is not really that the minimum amount set by National Coaches Association is on the higher side. It is something to do with the system. From FAM, Sulom and coaches, they are to blame. To begin with, coaches accept anything on their way because they have nothing to do.”
On the other hand, it is unheard of that FAM and Sulom went on to register teams under club licensing that has no financial muscles in the top-flight league. This shall mean that the whole system is rotten.