insidesport:with MICHAEL KARIATI
IT was interesting reading an article in one of the local dailies titled, Rhinos players not taking pay cut. One thing that struck the mind was: Was this a joke or reality? How much in the first place are the Chipembere players earning, and how much would be left for them should they take a pay cut?
How the Chipembere authorities came up with this idea is something else, but it could have been brought about as a result of what is happening in Europe during this period of forced rest due to the coronavirus.
It is a fact that most of the top footballers in Europe have taken a pay cut, but do we have to follow what others have done or are doing when the situation at home does not permit?
It was also interesting to hear CAPS United following suit revealing that they would — during this period — be paying their players their full salaries.
The major questions that quickly come to mind are: Where was this issue of salary cuts coming from in the first place? Had anyone raised it or it was just a case of trying to follow what they are doing in Europe?
Some of the pay cuts in Europe are meant for the proceeds to assist in the fight against coronavirus, but in Zimbabwe, whom would that benefit? Obviously the club, and to the detriment of the players.
The situation in this country is far much different from Europe where players earn as much as US$300 000 a week compared to meagre earnings of as little $3 000 a month (about US$75) for the Zimbabwean top footballer.
These figures alone are enough to tell that a player in Europe can afford a 12.5% pay cut, but not a footballer in Zimbabwe whose US$75 a month salary is meant to cover accommodation, transport and food, without mentioning school fees and clothing as well.
In fact, most of the Zimbabwean footballers do not earn as much as that $3 000 or US$75, but as little as $2 000 (about US$50) instead, with some of them getting even less.
The truth is that the Zimbabwean footballer is already wallowing in poverty to the extent that he cannot afford a pay cut, but, in fact, needs a salary increment in these trying times.
This is the time for the clubs to show their appreciation for their players by sacrificing the little they have to make their players happy ahead of the start of the 2020 soccer season.
These players have sacrificed a lot for their clubs — sometimes working for free — and need to be paid in full or have their earnings increased even when they are not working.
The fact that there is massive player exodus to foreign lands is because of the “starvation” salaries in Zimbabwean football due to a combination of factors.
Some of the top players have even risked their careers by playing in countries like Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Tanzania, where they are paid better compared to back home even though the standards of football are low
This situation needs to change and the opposite should come true. Why can’t players from Mozambique cross the border to play for Manica Diamonds or Tenax? Why can’t players from Zambia cross the border to play for ZPC Kariba?
Players from countries like Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia should be dreaming of playing for CAPS United, Dynamos, Highlanders, FC Platinum and others, instead of the Zimbabwean Soccer Star of the Year moving to these neighbouring countries.
Zimbabwean football needs to come to grips with reality and begin to pay more, not these “starvation” salaries that players are getting at the moment.
The issue of pay cuts, surely, does not apply in Zimbabwean football.
l For your views, comments, and suggestions, contact email@example.com or WhatsApp on 0773 266 779