DYNAMOS players have gone on strike demanding payment of their salaries and winning bonuses and there are fears that the club’s technical team might be forced to field junior players in the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield semi-final clash against rivals Caps United set for the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
The job action, according to sources at the club, started on Tuesday when senior players refused to take to the training field, to force the management to address their grievances.
Players are owed part of their salaries and winning bonuses from last season. Players who spoke to NewsDaySport yesterday said they agreed to report for pre-season, which began last month to prepare for the upcoming season after the executive promised to settle the outstanding fees.
Players claim that they have been receiving half salaries since January last year, and are owed over $2 500 each in winning bonuses.
Dynamos give their players $200 for winning a match, and $70 for a draw, on top of their salaries.
The Harare giants won 21 times and drew seven games on their way to a second-place finish last year.
“We have been getting half salaries since January last year. The whole year they kept promising us that they would settle the balances, but nothing has been done. We think this is the only way that can force them to act. We are owed winning bonuses for 14 matches,” said a senior player in the squad.
“The new players are also complaining that they are not getting what they signed for. Most, if not all, of the players, who signed this year, haven’t received their signing-on fees in full. We are not happy with the situation, and we will continue with the strike until this is addressed,” another source said.
Club secretary-general, Webster Marechera confirmed the players’ action, but said they were sorting the problem.
“The players are owed some monies from last season and their January salaries came a bit late. They started receiving them this week. As a result, some of the players refused to train, but others trained. We are in the process of engaging them to see how we can break the impasse so that we can field the best possible squad for the match at the weekend. They have their grievances, but we are doing our best to sort it out,” he said.
Dynamos started struggling to pay their players after their premier sponsor, BancABC slashed their sponsorship at the start of last season.
The Harare giants reportedly used to receive $700 000 from the company a season towards the player’s salaries, a figure which was cut by almost half last year.
Their situation is set to improve though after NetOne this week gave them a $350 000 sponsorship for this season, money which will go towards payment of player’s salaries and other operational expenses.
With senior players and the reserve team refusing to train, coach Lloyd Mutasa and his technical team have been forced to train juniors and other players on trials, and there are fears that they will field a weakened team in the big Harare derby tomorrow.
Dynamos last year lost this match, used as a curtain raiser to the upcoming season, which is expected to kick-off on March 10, and their supporters were hoping to get one back at their fiercest rivals.
But as it stands, it looks like it’s Caps United, who will go into the match with an upper hand and set to get the victory that comes with both a final spot in the competition against either Highlanders or Chicken Inn, and most importantly the bragging rights that are associated with this blockbuster encounter.
Reports earlier in the week suggested that Caps United players also refused to train to force the club to pay them outstanding salaries and winning bonuses, but it appears that has been sorted as they participated in their training session on Thursday.