Premier Soccer League introduces salary cap for footballers

HARARE – In an unprecedented move, the Premier Soccer League has introduced salary structures for football players – pegging the monthly salaries between US$100 – US$150, which has drawm sharp criticism from the Football Union of Zimbabwe.

The Premiership is set to kick off this weekend (March- 21 – March 24). The salaries were endorsed by an emergency meeting called by chairman Tapiwa Matangaidze.

Several clubs folded last season after the economy was dollarised. Eastern Lions sold their franchise while Shooting Stars merged with pharmaceutical company Caps Holdings.

PSL chairman Matangaidze said their indaba had also proposed to peg at USd 30 as the maximum amount that clubs should pay as winning bonuses to their players for the 2009 season, which bursts into life on Saturday.

The league official sponsor Commerical Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) has not yet disclosed how much it will pour into the league, citing a tough economic environment. The league last month presented a USd 2,5 million budget for the running of the league this season. CBZ Holdings, remains the official sponsor of the league.

Football Union of Zimbabwe chairman and Dynamos midfielder Desmond Maringwa, said he felt the PSL decision was ill conceived and noted that it had a number of flaws that would work against the interests of players.

Maringwa said the PSL should have only recommended a minimum salary if they were touched by the plight of the players.

"What they are suggesting does not work. It should have been a suggested minimum and not maximum salary. As players, we just have to sit down and have a proper plan on how we can proceed.

"What is also very disappointing is that the figures that are being proposed are well below the poverty datum line yet football is our livelihood," Maringwa said.

Weekend fixtures – Week 1

Black Rhinos vs Lengthens
Sundowns vs Bantu Rovers
Caps United vs Hwange
Underhill vs Dynamos
Motor Action vs Eagles
Highlanders vs Gunners
Monomotapa vs Highway
Kiglon vs Shooting Stars