Byo City strike Players demand unpaid bonuses
BULAWAYO City’s preparations for Saturday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash with Mutare City Rovers were thrown into disarray after their players went on strike over unpaid bonuses which spilled into the second day yesterday.
Amakhosi as City are affectionately known, owe players $400 each in bonuses for two matches, the 1-0 away win over Border Strikers and last week’s 3-1 victory over Caps United, as well as for their draws against Hwange and Dynamos.
The players also claim they are owed two months’ salaries.
They also claim they have been surviving on camping allowances pegged at $35 for away games and $15 for home matches.
Players refused to train yesterday at Barbourfields Stadium.
When a Chronicle Sport crew arrived at City’s training ground at around 2:45PM, the players had changed into their training gear, but refused to train demanding that the club’s management addresses their concerns.
City’s executive members, including chairman Jerry Sibanda, his deputy Zenzo Moyo, secretary-general Horace Ndubiwa and Eddie Chivero, who is the club’s liaison officer, arrived at the training ground at 5PM and addressed the players for over an hour.
McKenzie Moyo, City’s acting chief executive officer, called for players to be patient, saying the club had its fair share of challenges just like other PSL clubs.
“We strive to make sure that our players’ needs are taken care of and as it is the management has gone to hear their grievances. We only get a grant from the city council and the club has to fend for itself,” said Moyo.
Because of outstanding salaries and bonuses, one player made sensational claims that thinking about the allowances was affecting their play.
“Surely, how do they expect us to concentrate when we are thinking about our monies? What we want is for the club to show that they are committed to paying us our dues because even the sign-on fees we were given were far below what they had agreed to give us. They had said they were going to give us half of the sign-on fees, but the monies were not even half,” said one player.
City’s strike came three days after they had lost 1-2 to Harare City in a match that they blew away lots of scoring opportunities and ended up losing via a controversial penalty.
Referee Thabani Bhamala erroneously awarded Harare City a penalty in the dying stages of the game at Rufaro Stadium on Friday after adjudging that Bulawayo City’s left-back Brian Chikwenya had used his arm to block a goal-bound shot, when in fact the ball had hit his shoulder.
With two training days wasted, City are likely to double their sessions to make up for lost time as they prepare for relegation fighters Mutare City Rovers. — @ZililoR
Bulawayo City chairman Jerry Sibanda (in a suit) addresses players as offifi cials listen at Barbourfifi elds Stadium yesterday. by Fortunate Muzarabani Picture