Football clubs participating in the Betking Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) are faced with mounting challenges, falling to pay players’ salaries.
It is attributed to the increase in players’ salaries. According to sources, various players were forced to stop their regular trainings due to unpaid salary.
Jimma Abba Jiffar, which won the league trophy two years ago, is one of the clubs facing problems. Players revealed that they have not been paid their salaries and have been forced to stop training.
Players talking to The Reporter on conditions of anonymity said “We have not been paid for more than three months.”
“We have no other source of income because our work is football. Our attempt to explain this to the club’s management over and over again, but we have not been able to do so,” one of the players added.
However, it was pointed out that the players have had similar problems with salary and signing fees. According to the players, after match week 12, they were immediately forced to stop training. However, none of the club leaders came forward to ask for the reason.
The club’s interim general manager, Abdissa Lema, on his part, said the club has reached an agreement with the concerned parties to resolve the problem.
“We are confident that the coach and some of the club’s executives will respond to our request, and that the money will be credited to our account at the end of the first round of the competition,” said Abdissa.
Abdisa says they have not been paid for three months and the problem is related to the lack of budget or release thereof.
“We are working to solve the problem once and for all, and in the next few days, we will pay the full salary of all the players,” added Abdissa.
Jimma Abba Jiffar is not the only club facing this problem, with more than three clubs facing similar predicaments.
Kifle Seifu, General Manager of the Premier League also expressed his concern over the situation. “The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) is expected to discuss this with the clubs,” Kifle said adding, the league company is not involved in this matter, other than to oversee the smooth operation the competition.
Since last year, clubs have been paid millions as a result of the DSTV broadcasting right agreement. However, for this year, participating clubs and the league company agreed not to disburse the money until they submitted their general audit. More than half of the clubs have not been paid due to their inability to submit audits to the share company.
The EFF, on its part, has not received any complaints from the players or the club about alleged contract disputes between Jimma Abba Jiffar and its players.
For the General Secretary of the EFF, Bahiru Tilahun, the clubs could face a worsening financial crisis, if they do not comply with the transfer deadline.
Most EPL clubs spend on average 20 to 50 million birr per year. From this amount, around ten million birr is spent on players transfer. Two players of the league, who have joined new clubs in the latest transfer window, supposedly earn 292,000 birr a month.