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Warriors stars set for salary cuts

by Staff reporter
05 Apr 2020 at 08:56hrs | Views
SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean football stars are reportedly set to take huge wage cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The South African Premiership is home to 29 Zimbabwean stars, including seven players who were recently named in the Warriors squad that was set to play Algeria last month before the matches were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Like it has done to so many of other industries, Covid-19 has brought sport around the world to a halt including the South African Premiership.

Due to the potential financial damage being done by the coronavirus lockdown, South African clubs, who are set to incur massive losses due to loss of revenue from gate-takings, sponsorship and a lucrative TV deal, are reportedly set to ask their players to take a pay cut.

South African Football Players Union (Safpu) president Thulaganyo Gaoahubelwe told Times Live last week that they were preparing for the discussion with the South Africa Premier Soccer League regarding looming salary cuts for the players.

"We might have to enter into this discussion, we have flagged it.

"But we are not at that point," he added.

"If it gets to that point, we will sit down and negotiate on the facts that are before us."

Safpu feel any such discussion could take place in the same spirit of co-operation that pervaded in the talks about the suspension of the league earlier this month, as the threat of the spread of the deadly virus became more obvious.

"We made our points on occupational hazard, health and safety in that discussion and we were pleased they were taken up," he said.

"We cannot preempt now what is going to happen, but we have been watching what has been going on overseas," he said.

Players in the South African Premiership have seen wages increase considerably over the last years, which has made the league an attractive destination to Zimbabwean footballers.

Zimbabwe international forward Khama Billiat is reportedly the highest earner in the South African Premiership following his move to Kaizer Chiefs from rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in 2018.

The 29-year-old signed a three-year contract with an option of an additional year and is reportedly earning R10 million a year before tax which translates to R833 333 per month.

Taking the taxman into consideration — as footballers in South Africa are taxed at 38% — Billiat is paid R515 000 a month, making him comfortably the top-earner in South Africa's top-flight.

A handful of top stars at Mamelodi Sundowns are earning around R4m annually, but the average at the club is closer to R2m, which is also what the other top clubs pay their leading players.

According to reports from South Africa, the average salary for a player in that country's top-flight league is still below six figures a year although there are players at almost all clubs who earn in excess of R1m per year, or R100 000 per month.

Some of the world's biggest clubs, who rake in millions of dollars at the turnstiles, from sponsorship, replica shirts and television rights, have come under strain because of losses prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

This has meant that players across the world, including Lionel Messi at Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, have given up portions of their salaries to help reduce the costs at their respective clubs, where there is no longer any income as a result of the suspension of league and cup competition matches.

At least 10 of the world's 12 highest-earning clubs in Europe are negotiating to reduce their multimillion wage bills, while smaller clubs, in Belgium for example, have taken 50% off players' salaries and even started retrenching support staff.

Source - The Standard