The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Premiership Pay Day

HARARE giants Dynamos, who have been finding it difficult to woo new players without a strong financial back up for signing on fees, will get a cash injection that could help speed up negotiations with their prospective buys when the Premier Soccer League release their US$70 000 prize money for winning the just-ended campaign.

PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele yesterday said all the 16 clubs are set to get their dues today after completing all the paperwork that had led to the delays in the disbursement of the money.

The total package for the prizes only amounted to US$317 000 with runners up Highlanders set to bank US$50 000, while Chicken Inn will receive US$30 000 for finishing third.

The prizes have been staggered and relegated teams that include Gunners, Quelaton, Blue Rangers and Hardbody will each get a US$5 000 handshake.

Dynamos welcomed the disbursement of the prizes but moaned that they are not enough to cover the clubs' expenses and meet other obligations like the procurement of players.

Club chairman Kenny Mubaiwa said on average a team needed around US$400 000 to run smoothly, covering the costs of fulfilling all the matches and paying players their salaries and winning bonuses.

"We are happy that we won the first prize. It will help meet some of the needs, but to say the truth the money is far less than what we spend the whole season.

"Football is a very expensive business to run and there are no returns to expect from it.

"The costs that clubs meet along the way are massive. One away game outside Harare, for example, would gobble up to US$12 000. Transport and accommodation are very expensive and if you add allowances and bonuses, the figures would be quite high.

"That is why many small clubs find it difficult in the Premiership. In the end, if such clubs are relegated, they usually crumble. It's better with the big teams because sometimes they get more from the gates when playing at home.

"Despite that, I still don't know how we were going to survive if we had not received the backing of our sponsors (BancABC)," said Mubaiwa.

The Glamour Boys, who encountered problems with their players earlier in the month over the allocation of the bonuses for winning the league and cup double, will also be able to pay out some of the outstanding bonuses to the players.

The Dynamos leadership had set aside US$20 000 to be distributed among the players for winning the championship and another US$40 000 for the Mbada Diamonds Cup. DeMbare pocketed US$100 000 from the Mbada Diamonds Cup success and the players have since got their share of the money, which was released by the sponsors just a few days after the finals.

DeMbare who are playing in the Champions League next season, have been in dire straits of late as they are looking to renew contracts with a number of players while, at the same time, seeking to beef up their squad.

Their efforts have been hampered by the lack of financial back up to tie down the contracts.

The Harare giants have submitted a 26-member list to Caf at the close of the initial deadline on Saturday but are still to agree terms with some of the players registered.

"We were stuck because we had budgeted some of the money to pay players signing on fees. But still it's not enough if you put into account the prize tags that are being mentioned on the market," said Mubaiwa.

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