Shape up or ship out: City players told
BULAWAYO City players have been told to shape up or ship out following their two-day strike over unpaid salaries and bonuses.
City’s chairman Jerry Sibanda slammed senior players for leading the strike during Tuesday evening’s address at Barbourfields Stadium.
The local municipal club owes players $400 each in bonuses and two months’ salaries.
They also say they have been surviving on camping allowances pegged at $35 for away games and $15 for home matches.
“The chairman (Sibanda) was breathing fire and accused senior players of leading the strike. However, the guys refuted his assertions and told him that it was a team effort,” said a player.
The players, who reportedly refused to be addressed by vice-chairman Zenzo Moyo, were made to train twice on Wednesday to make up for Monday and Tuesday sessions which they missed.
At yesterday’s training session, the players were addressed by Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) representatives invited by the club.
Sibanda said they will act on errant players that brought the club’s name into disrepute.
“We established that there are four senior players who instigated the strike. I didn’t intimidate the players, but I simply told them that those who don’t want to be part of the club will be released at the end of the season. We didn’t decline to pay their dues and it’s only that they were impatient. Once we get our grant, we will clear their dues, but we can’t let errant players drag the name of the club into the mud,” said Sibanda.
On FUZ’s visit, Sibanda said: “FUZ were only addressing their members, telling them the procedure to follow instead of just engaging in industrial action. The team captains never communicated with either the welfare manager or myself about their grievances. Going on strike was illegal and FUZ told them that they risk being charged.”
City take on Mutare City Rovers at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow and they have been challenged to win the encounter.
“They missed training twice and I told them that we want maximum points. They can’t embarrass us like that and being professionals that they’re, only a victory can make up for their actions,” said Sibanda.
City welcome back captain Xolisani Moyo, who missed last week’s 1-2 loss to Harare City due to illness.
Another player who has started training is striker Mkhokheli Dube, who had been out for three weeks, nursing a head injury. – @ZililoR
Ronald “Gidiza” Sibanda
Jerry Sibanda addresses Bulawayo City players