This is due to the financial doldrums brought upon caused by COVID-19
Due to the financial burden brought upon by COVID-19, Botswana Premier League (BPL) top side Gaborone United (GU) has resorted to paying players allowances instead of month-end salaries, this publication has established.
Gazette Sport made the discovery in the course of an interview with GU Director Nicholas Zakhem who noted that the Gaborone based football team has turned to paying players allowances as the club is in a deep financial situation because of COVID-19. GU just like many others in Botswana is finding it difficult to generate revenue due to the suspension of football activities in order to curb the spread of the virus. Local teams usually make money from gate takings, replica shirt sales and monthly grants from the BPL.
“It is difficult for us to cope financially and we all know that this is the case around the world, even big clubs in Europe are struggling,” he said. “So, because of that, we have decided to give players allowances instead of salaries and on top of that those who do not stay in our club houses get additional accommodation fees.” The Money Machine’s monthly wage bill is P375 000 according to Zakhem who told this publication in an interview earlier this year. He said the club’s highest paid player gets P15 000.
Nevertheless, Zakhem stated that the way they pay players allowances is dependent on their contracts. “You cannot expect them to get equivalent fees, some get P3 500, P 4 000 and P 5 000,” he said further noting that they might adjust the fees when they receive the COVID-19 relief money from Botswana Football Association (BFA).
Zakhem who is also the club financier said they are going to carry on with the allowances arrangement until the local football action resumes. “But we do not know when the league is going to resume; there is speculation that it might return in February next year and if that is the case we will start paying them normal salaries in January,” he highlighted.
The Money Machine financier also said that all players at the club are in agreement with the allowances arrangement. “They are very much understanding, I had a talk with them all and none of them was in objection,” Zakhem who is a business-man of repute noted.