Zebras defender Lesenya Ramoraka must be keeping his fingers crossed that he is not affected by changes in the wage setup for the players that his club, Highlands Park, is reported to be considering. Ramoraka, like most football players in Africa and around the world, has been rendered inactive by suspension of leagues. With their finances also affected, most clubs are resorting to cost cutting measures.
Because unconfirmed reports are that foreign players are charged a high percentage of their wages in tax, pay cuts could be yet another blow for Botswana players in South Africa.
Highlands Park is reportedly considering pay cuts across the playing and non-playing staff because of the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that is still in effect in South Africa. With most leagues around the world suspended, clubs cannot generate money through gate takings and consistent club membership payments.
ABSA Premiership clubs are able to sustain themselves through TV rights money, club sponsorships and PSL grants. Even so, according to a report published by South African media outlet, Soccer Laduma, Highlands Park are worried about other forms of generating income that have been affected by the suspension of the league.
Club chairman Larry Brookstone has stated that although no final decision has been made, they are considering pay cuts to cushion the blow of the COVID-19 situation. “Because of the COVID-19 situation, we are forced to relook at our whole expense base and at this stage, everything is still in discussion,” Brookstone stated.
With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, lockdowns could be extended. This would affect the return of the leagues which may be rescheduled to around July.