Deputy Accra Rep of Kotoko, Nana Kwame Dankwah, broached the subject. What he did not do however, was to state Kotoko’s position. Nana Kwame not sharing his club’s stance on player-pay-cut was good but his posture has also created room for suspense.
“There is this issue of pay cut. Management has spoken with the Head Coach. He is to discuss it with the playing body and revert to us. At the moment, that is what we are confronted with. We are not imposing it on the players. We need to discuss it with them so that there will be agreement. We are waiting to hear from them” Nana Kwame said.
So, while Coach Maxwell Konadu interacts with his players, the suspense is active. Whatever the decision will be, its effects will be either on the lives of the players or in the bank account of club Chairman, Kwame Kyei. Covid-19 has not yet left us but it has wreaked havoc on lives and businesses. Some effects of Covid-19 may not be immediately known. Those that we know, we are fervently hoping that it does not break us.
For football, player-pay-cut is one of the effects and just like the infection, the issue crosses geographical boundaries. English clubs are on the issue. Chelsea are in talks with Frank Lampard on wage-cut, said the UK Observer. Arsenal’s first team players are set to agree on 12.5 salary cut, the Guardian reported. In Ghana, same is being done by Kotoko.
Only a handful of Ghanaian clubs pay their players as much as GHȼ2,500 (US$441) monthly. The questions are: Will our players take cuts off their already mean earnings? Can our clubs pay as they were doing when the season was in session? What is the argument for and against player-pay-cut? First, in support of it, we know clubs have essentially been out of business for nearly six weeks now.
The league is suspended; no matches, no gate proceeds – and with the situation where almost all our clubs have no real or other sources of revenue outside gate proceeds, the burden lies heavily on club owners to dip their hands into their pockets to pay salaries. Where will they get the money from particularly now that there is no football because of the Covid-19 plague?
Then, against the argument is the fact that, player salaries here are meagre. Reducing the paltry salaries by any percentage is tantamount to increasing the hardships the players suffer. For me, the two arguments are valid but a middle ground must be found. That is, the players understanding the difficulties the Covid-19 scourge have inflected on everyone. And as Kotoko have done, players must be engaged meaningfully by club owners to arrive at a mutually beneficially conclusion.