Three quarters of Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs owe players money in the form of signing-on fees, winning bonuses and salaries from last season, the Footballers' Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) has claimed.
FUZ secretary-general, Paul Gundani, said the players' representative body is now considering going to court. "As a union, we wanted a football solution to these problems but it seems there is no solution in sight. In the absence of a football solution, we are forced to go to the Labour Court. Although the route to the Court might take a long time, at least we are guaranteed that the players will get their dues at the end of the day."
"As FUZ we have encountered a lot of problems of clubs failing to pay their players from last season," Gundani told the Daily News.
"At the moment, 70 percent of the clubs owe their players money going into the new season and we have continued to call upon both the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and the PSL to deal accordingly with defaulting clubs.
"What we have proposed to the PSL is that if a club fails to pay its players, the club must have the outstanding amounts deducted from its gate takings. If a club continues to fail its players then the league can even go on to deduct points from the clubs tally."
Gundani - a former Zimbabwe international defender - singled out Dynamos, CAPS United, Highlanders and relegated Monomotapa as the clubs with the highest number of cases before their office.
Last month, Dynamos players - desperate for to receive what they are owed - went on a two-day strike ahead of their African Champions League tie with AS Vita due to non-payment of winning bonuses dating back from last season.
"At the end of last season these clubs owed their players a significant amount in outstanding payments and when some of the players intended to move, they thought they could write off those debts, which is wrong," said Gundani.
Gundani said for the problem to end, the PSL must enforce its Club Licensing requirements. "All these issues emanate from the fact that the PSL is not enforcing the Club Licensing regulations," he said. "We have to start from somewhere and if it means that we only have a league with fewer but well-funded teams then let it be."