Be Forward Wanderers players are planning to boycott their last and decisive TNM Super League match against Mlatho Mponela on Sunday if the issue of their accumulated game bonuses for 12 matches is not resolved.
Two senior players, who did not want to be named, confided in The Nation that the club owes them game bonuses for 10 wins and two draws, collectively amounting to over K6 million.
The Nomads get K35 000 each for a win and half the amount (K17 500) for a draw each.
The standard squad for a match is 18 players of which the starting 11 and used substitutes get full bonuses while unused substitutes are entitled to half the amounts.
Currently, the Nomads are second in the 16-team league with 66 points, a point behind leaders Nyasa Big Bullets.
To win the title, Wanderers need to beat Mlatho and hope that Bullets falter in their last match against TN Stars on the same day.
“We have been pushing for our bonuses with our officials for months, but nothing tangible has come up.
“We even reached a point whereby we resolved to continue playing for the love of the club, hoping that something would happen.
“However, we are now left with a single match and we can’t hold our patience any longer,” the player said.
Asked if this was not an act of blackmail, considering that the league has reached a critical stage, the other player said: “If that was the case then we would not have accepted to play all these games without getting our dues.
“The reason we have taken that route is that the season is almost over and we do not know what the future holds.”
The players said they will come up with a final position on the matter tomorrow.
Club chairperson Gift Mkandawire had not responded to questionnaire yesterday, but team manager Victor Maunde, who is the link between the players and the executive committee, confirmed that the club owes the players a significant amount.
“However, I am not aware if there is indeed such a plot, but if it is true, then it is very unfortunate because the players know that they stand to get more if they win the league.
“The prize money for the champions is K15 million and according to a standing agreement, they are entitled to 60 percent of the prize money which translates to about K9 million.
“Now, the club owes them bonuses for 10 games which roughly amounts to K350 000 each. So, would they want to sacrifice K9 million for that?… It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Maunde said in addition to that, there is a clause in the sponsorship contract which stipulates that in the event of winning the league, they are supposed to get an extra K15 million.
He also said the players are getting their monthly salaries and supporters are also making up for their unpaid game bonuses by contributing money which the players share.
“Apart from salaries, they also get K10 000 allowance for an away match each and, in some cases K25 000 if they are going to play two away games.
“We are in this situation because part of our revenue went towards settling some players’ signing-on fees,” he said.
The team manager further said the issue of outstanding dues has always haunted Wanderers.
“For instance, when we were starting the season, there were outstanding dues for about six to seven matches from the previous season, but they were eventually cleared,” he said.