The Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the South African Football Players’ Union (Safpu) have signed a collective bargaining agreement that PSL chairman Irvin Khoza described yesterday as a momentous agreement with an “institutional foundation whose legacy will outlive all of us”. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the South African Football Players’ Union (Safpu) have signed a collective bargaining agreement that PSL chairman Irvin Khoza described yesterday as a momentous agreement with an “institutional foundation whose legacy will outlive all of us”.

The agreement includes giving the players’ union an open platform to engage with the players.

But the key milestone in the agreement is that players will now sit in a dispute resolution chamber that also includes a member of the players’ union.

“The issues that we are dealing with (on the collective bargaining agreement) are issues that weren’t covered, especially foreign players,” Khoza said yesterday.

“We have also agreed that the new DRC panel will be agreed upon, it doesn’t mean that the first one wasn’t agreed upon but there are issues that always develop in between.

“The one that we are going to deal with now is going to be a one that will be fully represented by the players’ union, who will have a quota of people to sit there along with a quota of people from the league who will sit there to make sure that we have a balanced DRC that deals with issues, not the face of the person and not the body that is represented but the issues that are going to be resolved are put on the table.

“That’s the most important spirit of making sure that the DRC is balanced, not biased but objective. According to our understanding, the DRC that we have has been very balanced in the issues that we have had but obviously in all cases you can’t be satisfied by the outcome, clubs and players haven’t been happy but to my understanding the players got the better part of the DRC outcome.”

The players’ union, that has waged numerous fights with the PSL, welcomed the agreement. Safpu’s president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe and the union’s general secretary Nhlanhla Shabalala were at the signing of the agreement, joined by Khoza, Kaizer Motaung, who is part of the PSL’s Board of Governors, and acting chief executive Mato Madlala.

“You are quite correct chair that previously we have had our issues, which we are happy that they are being addressed,” Gaoshubelwe said.

“Fundamentally, part of this agreement that we have signed includes the national dispute resolution chamber as envisaged by Fifa of equal representation.

“If you have equal representation it’s better, one of the things that we want to know is that the tribunal is impartial. As an organisation we will forward a few names, the league will forward their names.

“At any given point when we sit at the dispute resolution chamber you would have the players and the clubs with an independent chairperson being represented at that. You can’t get a better structure than that one.

“But over and above that, one important aspect that we have brought in is the issue of oral submissions when it comes to foreign players.

“You know when players who are plying their trade in South Africa, they would have their case and maybe leave the country; how do you then deal with that? The best way of solving that problem is that they can elect someone to do it in person on their behalf.”

Bonginkosi Ndadane