Bonus row at Dynamos football club.
Dynamos are currently leading in the title race with 30 points, two clear of second-placed Chicken Inn after 14 rounds of matches.
Tension is reportedly rising in the Dynamos camp amid reports that players are disgruntled over unpaid winning bonuses, in a development that threatens the team’s title championship race.
They travel to Highlanders on Sunday in what is arguably the pick of the weekend fixtures.
At a time their rivals are paying a premium to motivate their players, it has emerged that the Harare giants have not paid winning bonuses to their stars since the start of the season.
As a result, morale is at its lowest in the DeMbare camp, according to multiple sources.
The only thing that has kept the simmering tension from blowing over, according to the sources, is the players’ respect for head coach Tonderai Ndiraya. “If it wasn’t for mudhara Ndiraya, it could have been chaotic here,” a player told NewsDay Sport.
“He has been keeping us calm, and asking us to focus on playing and winning matches. The entire squad has so much respect for him; otherwise what is prevailing at our neighbour (Caps United) could also be happening here.
The truth is we are not happy and hopefully the management will sort out this issue as early as possible. How do they expect us to compete for the title against teams that are giving their players as much as US$400 winning bonuses?”
Players are reportedly owed over US$1 000 each in winning bonuses from the team’s nine victories and three draws in the league so far. According to the bonus structure at Dynamos, each player is entitled to US$100 for every win the team gets, and US$50 each for a draw.
Dynamos treasurer Moses Chikwariro referred questions to club chairperson Isiah Mupfurutsa whose mobile phone was unreachable. But sources said the Dynamos executive had promised to release the winning bonuses at the end of the season.
A number of influential figures in the squad, however, are sceptical about the arrangement.
It has also emerged that the Dynamos executive attempted to withhold players’ bonuses from the government for the team’s participation in the Independence Cup final which they lost 1-0 to Highlanders.
Dynamos received $4,5 million for finishing as runners-up and players had to demand for their share of the prize money. The club’s policy entitles the players to 40% of the prize money that they get as a club.
The players eventually received $39 000 each from the club, on top of the $134 000 that they received from the organisers in participation fees and daily allowances.
Each Dynamos player also received US$610 from their principal sponsor Sakunda Holdings as an appearance fee in the Independence Cup final that was played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.
“The management received money which was meant for our bonuses, but they chose to remain quiet. We only got to know about it when our peers at Highlanders told us that they, on top of their winning bonuses for winning the cup, had received a participation bonus from the government.
We then enquired around and that is when we got to know that we are supposed to also get it,” another player said. While the players have not received their winning bonuses, they have not encountered any problem in getting their salaries.
Sakunda Holdings, which poured a combined US$5,3 million in sponsorship deals with Dynamos and Highlanders over a period of three years, has been religiously paying players’ salaries.
“The sponsor committed to pay signing-on fees and salaries, and they have done so religiously. The club is supposed to pay winning bonuses and were hoping to raise the money from gate takings. The problem is that fans turnout at our matches has been poor.
The management is now trying to negotiate with Sakunda so that they can also pay players’ winning bonuses. But the sponsor has already indicated that they will reward the players with a 13th cheque if the team wins the league,” a source said.
Sakunda Holdings has dangled a US$200 000 incentive for either Dynamos or Highlanders if they win the league.
Source – Bulawayo24
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