'Pay cuts are bound to happen to footballers' - Shalulile
JOHANNESBURG – Highlands Park striker Peter Shalulile is aware of the country’s crumbling economy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and reckons that pay cuts are bound to happen sooner or later.
It’s been over a month since the domestic season came to an abrupt halt following the virus outbreak. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the government imposed a national lockdown.
The new regulations only permit essential workers to report for duty and this has seen a number of businesses close down - workers being retrenched or agreeing to pay cuts - at least until normality is restored.
AmaZulu were the first top-flight side to admit this week that their players were due a salary cut for this month, saying the monthly grant of R2.5-million from the Premier Soccer League and funds from sponsors such as Spar will not be enough to cover all of their expenses.
Highlands are also reported to follow in Usuthu’s footsteps by trimming their players’ salaries, especially with their main sponsor, clothing outlet Jonsson Workwear, not operating due to the lockdown.
Shalulile, who spoke to Independent Media from his home in Namibia having left the country before the lockdown got underway, has already prepared himself for the worst, saying pay cuts during these trying times are inevitable for most employees.
“Salary cuts are things that you cannot stress about, brother. Whether they make a decision or not, you cannot stress about that. At the end of the day, you must also understand what the companies are going through at the moment,” Shalulile said.
Shalulile is someone who does not fuss over money. After all, having been a wanted man by the top three - Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns - in top-flight football in the last two seasons, he could have easily manoeuvred his way out of Highlands for a better pay cheque.
“As a player, you must have financial planning. You must always have a thing of, one day you might leave football and a crisis will happen like now, so you must have a back-up for whatever the case may be,” he explained.
“But when it comes to money, my brother, I don’t like to complain much because you should also know that people are going through a lot and people need money. There are people that are sick and need the money.
“At the end of the day, we have to deal with what the government is saying and move forward.”
The resumption of the domestic season continues to be uncertain despite the PSL executive committee having said they at least hope to conclude the term by June 30, their final decision set to come from the task team’s findings.
Shalulile is optimistic that the season will resume and finish, and that’s why he has since vowed that once the dust settles and things get back to normality, he’ll even surpass his initial target for the season of 15 league goals.
“I set targets for myself and I’ve told myself that through good and bad - and not knowing that the coronavirus would come - that would always remain my target.
“But I believe that I’ll score more than 15 goals,” said Shalulile, who is three goals shy of his target.@Mihlalibaleka