By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com Cameroon
Players of Nigeria National League, NNL side, Vandrezzer FC of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state has disagreed with the management of the club over the suspension of their contract due to COVID-19 pandemic.
This was disclosed to kick442.com by one of the players who pleaded anonymity.
“We the players got a mail four days after NFF canceled the football activities in the country. The mail addressed us about the management of the team suspending our contract due to the pandemic circumstances.” He told kick442.
“A contract is an agreement between two parties. Why would one party just rise and say he suspends the contract of the other without having a dialogue?”.
The player also said that the suspension of the contract won’t augur well for them as most of the players are breadwinners of their family and would have accepted a pay cut as seen in saner climes during this COVID-19 hard times.
“The players do have family who depends on them, now imagine no more income in these trying times. How would they survive?
We are their employees, we would have gladly taken a pay cut if offered.”
“Vandrezzer with all their publicity says they want to change the dynamics of Nigerian football, is that how to go about it? Even the so-called teams they want to change their ways of operations did not suspend players’ contracts. I mean most Nigerian league team.”
“They never gave us a copy of our signed contract. Some players have one year, some two, some three years contract. We are not taking any legal action. Who can we report them too? The NFF does not have any platform with which players can complain about how they are being treated.”
He concluded by emphatically stating that the players didn’t agree to any suspension of their contract with club management.
“I want it to be clear the players never agreed with the management one the suspension of the contract.”
In a letter dated March 31, 2020, and signed by the management of Vandrezzer FC, it was unanimously agreed, having considered the uncertainties, to suspend the contract of players for the month of April 2020.
“Due to the above mentioned and in line with our recent telephone conversation with you, it is our unanimous agreement that having considered the uncertainties, it is imperative that we suspend your contract effective March 31, 2020, until 30 days after the relevant health authority declares Nigeria fit to congregate once again. It is agreed that the 30 days would serve as an additional precaution for the safety of our staff. The peculiar financial circumstance of the club would also be considered to determine the actual resumption date.” The letter reads.
The letter further said that Vandrezzer FC and the players will not be exposed to any financial obligation within the period of contract suspension, while payment of salaries will only commence after the resumption of service.
Looking at the statement of players alongside that of the club management, it is clear that a form of communication and agreement is crucial between both parties.
It is hoped that both parties will be able to meet at a middle ground in order for both parties to smile at the end of the day in the midst of the current economic plight induced by COVID-19 pandemic.
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