The Premier Soccer League together with the South African Football Players Union (Safpu) have signed a historic bargaining agreement.
This was announced by PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza and the president of Safpu, Thulaganyo Gaoshobelwe, at the league’s headquarters in Johannesburg.
Khoza said: ‘The popular game of football is about clubs and players competing at the highest level in the field of play and finding ways of engaging with each other.
‘Professional football in South Africa has come a long way: it is able to support clubs and players and their families. We should all recognise that we cannot succeed without viable clubs and quality players. We will succeed together with players or we will fail together.
‘There must be engagement between the league representing clubs and Safpu representing players. In recent times our [PSL and Safpu’s] relationship has been troubled by arguments about the level of representation Safpu enjoyed‚ the level of compliance with agreements that were in place‚ and arguments from both sides of the divide. This led to introspection and an effort from both sides to address the difficult issues and get the relationship back on track. I’m pleased to announce that we have a new commitment and a bargaining document between the PSL and Safpu.’
Gaoshobelwe thanked Khoza and the board of governors for positive interaction during the negotiation period.
‘The bargaining agreement signed between the PSL and the players union is a positive step towards the right direction. It is something that is long overdue. As the players union, our primary objective is to look after the players’ well-being and also ensure there is fairness in the process of dealing with contracts and other matters. We have always been proud of what the PSL has achieved in the past – a business formed by people from the townships that has become a success story in our country,’ Gaoshobelwe said.
The agreement outlines, among other aspects, the following:
- A commitment from both parties to enhance their dispute resolution mechanisms even further. The new improved dispute resolution chamber will not only meet the highest standards of South African law and the Fifa regulations but ensure equal representation of clubs and players on all the panels that will deal with disputes.
- A commitment from both parties to continuous improvement of understanding (and so training) of clubs and players on a host matters including: compliance documentation, access to information, club licensing, anti-doping benefits and possibilities of internal dispute resolution; tax-compliance requirements; insurance; retirement benefits; and standard contracting procedures, among others.
- Clear processes to ensure Safpu can have access to players at member clubs of the league at least twice a season, as well as an implementation protocol for stop-order deductions for Safpu members.
- Financial support for Safpu to enable the players union to continue to grow its membership and also participate in campaigns aimed at improving levels of knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be truly professional in this day and age.
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