THE silly season is certainly upon us — that is the first Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) transfer window of 2015.
PSL clubs have been busy since December last year, courting their targets to ensure by the time the window opened on New Year’s Day, they would have completed all their negotiations and ready for registration.
Which explains why, all the clubs, except Triangle, have coaches — retained or appointed — by the end of December last year so that when pre-season begins this week, it’s football matters on the pitch and not in the boardrooms.
But we have seen curious cases of teams claiming to have signed players that are still on contract with other clubs, without even bothering to negotiate with their respective clubs or finding out their statuses.
For instance, Dominic Chungwa and Obey Mwerahari claim to have signed for Dynamos when they are still contracted to their respective clubs, Caps United and ZPC Kariba. Chungwa has not been cleared by Caps, who breached his contract by failing to honour it and so cannot be registered by Dynamos.
Mwerahari is in the same boat — he has a one-year contract running with ZPC and the club values him at $9 000, so Dynamos must pay up or the player will remain in Kariba.
Suffice to say, a player without a clearance from his previous club cannot join another team.
Clubs need to establish the status of their targets before claiming to have signed them, or they will pay signing-on fees for a player who is contracted to another club and the issue might end up in court.
This means that until the case is resolved, the player will not feature for his new team and the new team would have lost a lot of money that could have been put to better use.
Sometimes players lie where they are linked to big clubs like Dynamos, Highlanders, Caps United or FC Platinum, just to get that deal, but at the end of the day, their careers might be derailed. Remember the case of the supremely-talented Mackreza Navaya years back?
At the same time, and to move with world trends, why can’t clubs make it public the players that are out of contract at the end of the season?
We are happy with the way the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe has been acting to protect the interests of players from some of these football leaders. Players have families and a whole of other dependants to feed; and, as such, they need to be paid.
If a club cannot meet its obligations, as the Club Licensing Regulations say, it must not be allowed to participate in football activities.
We also hope that Zifa has its database of players in place, the Transfer Matching System, which has all details about all registered players in Zimbabwe. That can minimise the wrangles we often read about.
Yesterday, we published a story about Dynamos striker Washington Pakamisa moving to Liga Muculmana in Mozambique without the knowledge of his club here and we wonder how he will get his international clearance from Zifa if the Zimbabwean champions have not cleared him.