No doubt, there is a serious economic threat biting hard for various workers because of a lock down due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Virtually, many activities; football business inclusive has witnessed various players, coaches and support staff in the Uganda Premier League and other divisions crying aloud for assistance and necessary help.
Kawowo Sports has reliably established that a number of Maroons Football Club players are yet to receive their February and March salaries, even when the rest of the Prisons’ staff were long cleared.
“The situation is unbearable. We have not yet been paid the February salary and March is closing down. We have families that entirely depend on us. We also need to venture into personal projects but where is the money? There are still pending issues with the bonus when we beat Express in the Stanbic Uganda Cup and the win from the BUL match. Who can save the situation?” one player who preferred anonymity for obvious reasons of being blackmailed attested his agony.
“I have a sick mother. I am the sole bread winner for the family. We are in quarantine because of Coronavirus danger. Football is my only source of income. I am demanding February salary. March is soon coming to an end in a few day’s time. How will I manvoure on in this trying time. Let our bosses save me and some other players” another player cried aloud.
Maroons Football Club is run by the Uganda Prisons Service and like Uganda Police, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), many of the players’ accounts are often inter-twinned with the general staff of these various institutions.
In most cases, reported delays to pay the general workers always have an adverse effect on the football department alike.
When approached for a comment, Director of Sports in the Prisons Department David Okiring acknowledged that the players on the pay roll have been paid their salaries just like the rest of the Prisons staff but still challenged by those who are not on the payroll.
“The salaries for those on the Prisons payroll have been cleared and there are no outstanding arrears. However, we are still processing those who are not on the pay roll. We shall get that sorted in two to three working days” Okiring attested to Kawowo Sports.
Uganda’s case is worsened by clubs that find difficulties to pay their respective players.
Maroons’ situation is just a broader picture of what is happening elsewhere in many clubs where the main concern with privately owned clubs as Tooro United, Proline and Kyetume.
Some community clubs as Sports Club Villa and Onduparaka have also had cases of pending payments for payments.
Up in the skies:
Vipers Sports Club, a privately owned club by Dr Lawrence Mulindwa leads by example in payment of the players’ salaries on time, as Wakiso Giants follows suit
Other clubs as BUL and of late Express have of late improved drastically to clear the players’ and staff dues on time.
Ray of Hope:
The recent development that the league main sponsors StarTimes will soon disburse the last batch of payments to the Uganda Premier League board and clubs is a beam of hope for various teams that have grey areas in the pending salaries owed by players and support staff.
The mode of ownership for Uganda Premier League clubs:
- Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Maroons, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Uganda Police
- Sports Club Villa, Express, Onduparaka
Parastatals and Institutions:
- BUL, Busoga United
- Tooro United, Vipers, Wakiso Giants, Bright Stars, Proline, Mbarara City, Kyetume