With Kaizer Chiefs set to do battle with Orlando Pirates in the 2017 instalment of the lucrative pre-season cup on Saturday, the South African Football Players Union (Safpu) has criticised the financial system.
Safpu has expressed their concern that the players who will partake in the match are not benefiting financially from it, and in a statement issued to the media, they are demanding that players from both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates receive a percentage of the proceeds.
"This weekend will see the seventh edition of the Carling Black Label Cup being played at the FNB Stadium where Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates lock horns in this Soweto Derby,” Safpu’s statement read.
“This is the tournament that has come and known to be the opener of the season in recent years. There will be a huge financial benefit for both clubs participating. Clubs here mean the management of the teams and not necessarily the players. This game replaced the spectacular tournament, the game that players would look forward to because they understood that it presented them with the opportunity to contribute towards humanity by giving back to charities. The players expected nothing monetary as they believed in the cause and the spirit of giving back to charity.
"The main sponsors of the current tournament are more than happy and would not concern themselves with proceeds of the day, because they are guaranteed an increase in alcohol sales. Clubs wouldn't really care much because they are guaranteed financial relief, it is alleged that clubs are getting millions of Rands for participating in this cup game. It's important to note that the same cannot be said about players. Supporters have an opportunity to get their 90 minutes of fame, by rubbing shoulders with their favourite players. It is important to note that in recent months we have been busy addressing issues relating to players’ salaries. The events of the passed days regard players remuneration i.e. the matter between (Bruce) Bvuma and Kaizer Chiefs FC as testimony to the fact that players are at the end of the food chain when it comes to financial benefits.
"The sad story is that there will be no games without players. Supporters wouldn't have a chance to vote for players but most importantly the question we must ask is what benefit would players get from this cup game.
"We know for a fact that players are not going to get anything from this because clubs are making money under a pretext that this is just a preseason friendly game to such an extent that even players are made to believe so. As we wish the players all the best for the upcoming game the ideal situation for us will be for them to share equally in the financial benefits. We are of course under no illusion that this will happen. Our challenge to the clubs is to share with the players at least a minimum of 1% from the proceeds. Of equal importance to us will be a situation where players stand together in support of the minimum wage or make a call that clubs must do away with slavery wages. At least we know that amongst them some are being paid peanuts (slavery wages). It's time for players to unite, rise and support one another," the statement concluded.