HARARE football giants Dynamos are battling to tie down their stars — including vice-captain Obey Mwerahari and midfielder Tichaona Chipunza — to new deals with reports suggesting the players were owed quite a substantial amount in salaries and winning bonuses.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Mwerahari and Chipunza’s contracts expire at the end of this month and the club hierarchy has reportedly opened negotiations with the duo for contract extension.
DeMbare would want to keep the stars that shone brightest this season, with Chipunza voted the Players’ Player of the Year as well as the Most Consistent Player.
However, the club management is handicapped in their negotiations as they have to clear the arrears before the players can commit themselves to new deals.
Informed sources yesterday revealed that the players were owed bonuses from 14 matches, which include 10 wins and four draws.
Dynamos pay their players a winning bonus of $200 and $70 for a drawn game.
To make matters worse, players have been earning half salaries throughout the season and the club has promised to settle the balance this week.
The Glamour Boys struggled to pay the players’ salaries after their principal sponsor BancABC, who were previously footing the entire salary bill, cut the sponsorship package by half.
Contacted for comment yesterday, club secretary Webster Marechera said: “I have nothing to say really. BancABC are giving us half of what they used to,” he said.
The Glamour Boys defied the odds stacked against them as they fought hard and long in the championship race only to be beaten to the finishing line by eventual champions FC Platinum on the very last day of the league programme.
Although they were pipped to the title by two points after ending the campaign on 70 points, they recorded the most wins of 21, one more than FC Platinum.
Dynamos, who are almost certain that they will lose Cameroonian striker Christian Epoupa, who is likely to sign for South African Premiership side Bidvest Wits University, are desperate to hold on to some of their senior stars.
Team captain Ocean Mushure is also reported to be owed $23 000 for his signing-on fee. However, the inspirational captain, who won the Player of the Year award, still has one more year left on his contract with the Harare giants.
They are also desperate to convince young Cleopas Kapupurika to renew his loan deal which expires at the end of the year.
Kapupurika, on loan from FC Platinum, was voted the Most Entertaining Player at the Tuesday awards ceremony.
While FC Platinum have reportedly given Dynamos the green light to extend Kapupurika’s loan deal, the player himself could be forced to look elsewhere where winning bonuses are paid on time.