It looks like it is now the norm in Botswana for players to be given bonuses after winning the league championships.
Last year, some Gaborone United players revolted after winning the league championships. Some ended up being suspended while the others were let go.
The players wanted a lion’s share of the P1 million prize money.
The following year, GU failed to defend their league championship and Rollers ended up winning it this past season, doubling it up with the lucrative Coca-Cola tournament.
By winning the Coca-Cola Cup, it means Rollers are P1 350 000 richer.
Now some Rollers players are up in arms, demanding a better share of the team’s prize money.
Sources from within the team say that the players are demanding P20 000 each. Some are reported to be holding secret meetings to eventually approach management head on.
The question many people are asking themselves is if players are guaranteed to be given bonuses or it is the prerogative of the team management.
However, Rollers managing director, Somerset Gobuiwang, told Sunday Standard that it is the prerogative of management to give players bonuses at the end of the season. He said players have contracts with the team but there is nowhere in their contracts where bonuses are stipulated.
Gobuiwang also emphasised that Rollers long communicated to the players about the issue of bonuses but he is surprised that the issue keeps on cropping up in the media.
He added that it is a pity players are saying this while teams are struggling to acquire sponsorships.
“Most teams in Botswana, including Rollers, do not have sponsorships and most rely on gate takings and league prizes. The other thing is that we are even paying our players every month, despite such financial constraints,” he said.
Gobuiwang also added that this coming season will be very hectic for the team because they have to compete in African competitions. He said they have to use some of the prize money for the competitions.
“Nowadays competing in African competitions is very expensive and that’s why some of the local teams could not take part in the tournament in the past years. At Rollers, we have told ourselves that we have to take part and the prize money we won from last season’s competitions should be channeled towards the African competitions,” he said.
Rollers look set to lose some of their players to the lucrative South African Premier League. The concerned players are the ones who were pillars of the team during the past season.
They are striker Terrence Mandaza, Itayi Gwandu and Edwin Moalosi. Mandaza and Gwandu may leave for Orlando Pirates, while Moalosi might go to Durban-based side, Amazulu.
This would mean the team has to go into the transfer market and look for their replacements.
This, however, would not come cheap as most teams are reluctant to release their best players.