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Date: 24 November 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Dynamos say Pasuwa offer withdrawn

[Posted 22 Dec 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Dynamos say Pasuwa offer withdrawn

Following protracted contract negotiations between Calisto Pasuwa and his employers Dynamos Football Club, the club chairperson Kenny Mubaiwa has shockingly announced that the offer to the coach has been withdrawn, even before communicating same to the coach.

In a press statement which will surely torch wild debates in discussions at various meeting points in the major cities of the country, Mubaiwa has revealed that the club will not engage Pasuwa in any further negotiations, and has accused the title winning coach of stalling on negotiations.

"We have resolved to withdraw our offers and we are pulling out of the negotiations because it appears nothing is coming out of it.

"It seems this thing could take too long to be addressed and we want to put the matter to rest now and look for another coach.

"His contract will expire on 31 December and we will not renew it. The post will be advertised in the press and if he is still interested he is free to apply and will be treated on the same level with the other candidates," declared Mubaiwa.

In his defence, Pasuwa has denied that it is his fault that the negotiations have stagnated, arguing that he has played his side of the bargain well, suggesting that his employers have not been honest negotiators.

"We have been negotiating and they asked me to suggest a figure which I did. I suggested US$6 000 in the draft, which was not the final thing, because I was of the understanding that we were going to negotiate.

"We did that and I brought my representative, whom they have been discussing with up until now and had pleaded with them to peg the salary at US$4 000.

"But I am surprised now they have made their decision without communicating, because it may now appear like I have refused to carry on with the job because of money issues, which is not correct," said Pasuwa.

It does appear that the parties have not reached agreement over finer details of the package, and the salary in particular. Even Mubaiwa's version suggests that the monthly salary is the sticking point which led to their very surprising decision to pull out of negotiations.

Mubaiwa's version of the events agrees with Pasuwa's on that note and it is clear that while the coach's negotiating team managed to lower down the wage demands from $6000 to $4000 per month, the club's representatives could only move from $2000 to $3000, and flatly refused to move by a further two thousand dollars.

If Mubaiwa's understanding of how contractual negotiations should be conducted typifies the Dynamos executive's understanding, then there is much to suggest that the problem could be found to be in the manner the Executive has handled the whole matter.

This is the shocking statement attributed to Mubaiwa in his comment regarding Pasuwa's representation during the negotiations:

"We have been negotiating with him for some time and just this week we gave him a draft of our offer to study it and come back on Tuesday but he didn't turn up, only to come back with his lawyer afterwards.

"We felt the environment was not conducive for discussing the contract because this is an issue between an employer and his employee and there was no need for a third party." 

Is it not ironic that Dynamos is comfortable sending representatives to negotiate with the coach regarding his personal terms, whereas the club's chairperson finds it strange that the coach negotiated through his lawyers?

If Pasuwa's version is true, that he was initially told verbally after winning five games that the substantive job as head coach was now his, and he was requested to propose a contract with his preferred salary plus other terms in it, doesn't it suggest that the Executive probably abdicated its responsibility towards its employees and created an untenable situation?

Is it therefore not a contradiction that Mubaiwa's executive now accuses the coach of having created an "environment... not conducive for discussing the contract..."?

The major problem with the contract negotiations appears to be the fact that both parties have conducted their business through the media, something which could have created further confusion and sowed seeds of mistrust, and either parties would learn of some developments only via the media, without communication being conducted via proper channels as established by the parties.

It is hoped that the Dynamos board which is due to meet next week will provide better leadership and direction in this whole saga.

For an average soccer fan who views Dynamos as the country's hope for a place in the mini-league stage of the Champions League,  it is unconceivable that a team that is due to play in the Champions League early nexy year can start looking for a new coach only days before christmas.

Reading between the lines, it appears like the executive is running away from taking responsibility for their failure to properly handle the issue of the contract negotiations, and they seem to find it easier to adopt a dismissive approach without choosing to be solution-focussed.

In the first place, why did the club wait only until this stage to engage the coach over a new contract when it was clear with three games to go before end of season that winning the league or not, Dynamos would take part in the champions league in 2012?

Secondly, it is not clear why an executive of a big club like Dynamos would not be proactive by offering the coach a contract, and instead chooses to ask the coach to propose his own salary and other clauses of the contract.

Was the executive not giving the coach an impression that the club had the resources to meet his salary demands? That approach is surely unorthodox in the business world today. If the executive was not well-meaning, then it raises questions about their bona fides in the whole matter.

From a contract law perspective, it would appear that the verbal promise of a substantive job offer after meeting certain minimum mid-term goals, could be construed at law to amount to a contract offer, which, if Pasuwa accepted would amount to a binding contract between the coach and his employers, Dynamos.

Dynamos need to tread the ground carefully for both legal and team morale reasons, given the f act that the Champions League season is just around the corner. There is no easy way out of this mess which the executive has created, some lawyer whom the club calls their legal advisor should properly advise.

But this is more than a legal issue. There are national interests at stake. There is more to lose for the Mubaiwa executive if they let Pasuwa go than they care to realise at this stage.     

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