Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum will not pay Bulawayo Chiefs compensation fee for the transfer of striker Perfect Chikwende to Tanzania’s Simba SC, as the player signed a contract with the reigning Premier Soccer League champions on January 4, 2021.
Chiefs had been hoping to get a share from the sale of Chikwende, who they had loaned to FC Platinum for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Following cancellation of last season’s league programme due to Covid-19, Zifa issued guidelines stating that contracts that were supposed to expire at the end of 2020 season should roll-over to this year.
However, FC Platinum have, through their lawyers, said Chiefs’ demands have “no factual or legal basis” since Chikwende had signed a deal with the champions on January 4, 2021.
FC Platinum’s lawyers Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans Legal Practitioners warned Chiefs that any legal proceedings will be “vigorously” opposed and the Bulawayo side will have to pay legal costs.
“Our instructions are that in the period running to the expiry of your client’s employment contract with Tatenda Perfect Chikwende, it sought to renew its employment contract with him.
“Tatenda Perfect Chikwende exercising his right refused to extend his contract with your client. Accordingly his employment arrangement with your client expired on the 31st of December 2020. This position is affirmed by the Bosman ruling which states that once a player’s contract expires they become a free agent. The expiry of Tatenda Perfect Chikwende’s contract with your client coincided with the expiry of the loan agreement. The suggestion, therefore, that your Memorandum of Understanding with our client overrides this factual and legal position is not sustainable.
“As such in accordance with his common law rights and indeed consistent with the both Fifa and Zifa regulations he was at liberty to enter a contract of employment with our client.
“Accordingly, such contract was concluded on the 4th of January 2021. As from that date Tatenda Perfect Chikwende became our client’s player.
“Our client, therefore, was at liberty to sell the player to Simba Sports Club. Your client’s desperate attempt to seek refuge in the Zifa and Fifa rules to suggest that Tatenda Perfect Chikwende was still its player is a transparent misinterpretation of facts which cannot be persisted on,” FC Platinum’s lawyers. – @ZililoR