Lioli slash player salaries

Lioli slash player salaries

MASERU-Econet Premier League giants Lioli have slashed players’ wages by half as clubs grapple with the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak that has forced a halt to all league games.
The move was announced on Tuesday by ‘Tse Nela’ president Hlajoane Lesaoana.

Lioli say their finances have been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic which caused a shutdown of the Econet Premier League on March 17 and a 21-day national lockdown that started on Sunday.
In announcing the wage cut, Lesaoana said ‘Tse Nala’ were left with no option but to reduce not only the wages of their players, but Lioli’s technical team and every employee of the Teyateyaneng club as well.
“The world is faced with a big challenge that is threatening lives,” Lesaoana said.

“We have to take it seriously and not only look at ourselves but at players as well who are our entertainers on the field.”
He added: “This is the first time the club speaks about the outbreak, it is something that scares us and the world hence we obeyed when the government announced measures set to be taken.”

In 2010, Lioli became the first Lesotho club to have player contracts with salaries and the trendsetting move led to teams such as Matlama and Bantu following suit.
However, business has slowed because of Covid-19 restrictions and despite Lioli having several sponsorship deals including with main sponsors Alliance Insurance, the club is feeling the pinch.
“As a club we have sponsors but business has stopped and everyone is struggling,” Lesaoana said.
“The club’s committee sat down to look at how we could reduce the salaries for players and everyone employed by the club by 50 percent. It doesn’t mean we are not thinking about anyone but it is difficult.”
Lesaoana said Lioli are not the only club struggling and he pointed out the coronavirus outbreak is threatening the entire football world.

In Italy, for example, players and coaches of champions Juventus agreed to their pay being stopped for four months in order to save the club an estimated 90 million euros (roughly M1.7 billion) during the pandemic.
“A lot of clubs have problems with money especially with league games not being played,” Lesaoana said.
“The global economy has been affected, look at our neighbouring South Africa and how their currency is performing against foreign currencies, it is a big difference.”

When the Econet Premier League was shut down last month Lioli had been in the midst of an inconsistent and underwhelming season.
‘Tse Nala’ were fifth on the log and found themselves in danger of missing out on a top four spot for the second year in a row, something that hasn’t happened in over a decade.

Lesaoana, however, reiterated the club’s ambitions this season saying Lioli are fighting to be in the league’s top four by the end of the campaign.
He assured Lioli fans the club is not a sinking ship but is a “healthy buoyant one”.

However, the possibility of the league campaign not concluding is real and Lesaoana admitted fears the season may not be completed.
“It is difficult,” Lesaoana said.
“The pandemic is threatening the game and gives a possibility of the season not being played to a finish.”

Tlalane Phahla

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