Botswana football exports to South Africa are contending with the prospect of a financial squeeze after reports emerged that some Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs were considering pay cuts for playing and non-playing staff members in the wake of COVID-19. A new report has since surfaced stating that the league’s governing body, PSL, cannot stop any club from implementing wage cuts in order to stay afloat.
The PSL’s position is that the wage cuts will be allowed as long as proper labour laws are followed. South African authoritative football publication, Soccer Laduma, quoted PSL interim CEO, Mato Madlala, as saying they do not have a policy to use to prevent clubs from effecting the wage cuts. “If there is a policy or guideline for their actions, then they are obliged to write to the league, and where there isn’t, then it’s open to them. With restructuring, it really depends on your business. You do so based on your financial situation or predicament,” Madlala was quoted as saying.
Numerous clubs in the ABSA Premiership, including Highlands Park, have been mentioned among those considering cost cutting measures to steady their ship. Zebras defender Lesenya Ramoraka plays for Highlands Park and could be affected by the wage cuts as reported by this publication last week.
Clubs that can sustain themselves include Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Bidvest Wits, Supersport United and a handful of others. The rest depend on the R2 million monthly grant that they receive from the PSL. Such clubs also usually depend on their owners for other expenditures.
It is estimated that club owners of such clubs spend between R20 million and R40 million per season to cover travelling costs, wages, accommodation and other expenses. With COVID-19 compelling many businesses to adopt survival strategies, the owners are themselves increasingly squeezed for cash and they have explored the option of wage cuts to ease their problems.