PETALING JAYA: The suspension of the M-League has affected the relationship between players and their teams.
The movement control order (MCO) from March 18-31 has been extended to April 14 and it will result in the M-League seeing no action for four weeks.
Several M-League teams claimed that they have lost income from gate collection due to the MCO and are facing difficulties paying their players.
The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) are not buying their reason and are adamant that the players’ salaries should be paid in full.
Sports law expert Richard Wee believes an open discussion between the players and their teams is the best solution to the deadlock.
“All clubs and players are advised to adhere to their respective contracts. However, football contracts are meant for a proper football season to proceed.
“If the season cannot proceed, clubs may not have sufficient funds to continue, ” said Richard, who is one of the co-founders of the Sports Law Association of Malaysia (SLAM).
“If the clubs wish to suspend the contract, it’s best to be transparent and reveal the team’s financial status to the players. Highlight statistics and the relevant data to provide accurate information on the sustainability of the club.
“Produce a proper plan if the league is suspended for one month, three months or six months. Let the players see what the clubs are facing... the players can then decide on the next course of action.”
Richard added that he understands PFAM’s position in protecting the interests of the players but calls for a reasonable and practical solution.
The former secretary of the Malaysian Bar Council said that there are legal paths to resolve the issue but the practical option is to have a collaborative and cooperative path for a joint solution.
“On one hand, the players might be worried that the clubs are making this as an excuse not to pay them in full and it will create a bad precedent, ” added Richard.
“But on the other, an unprecedented situation calls for unprecedented measures. We may want to go out for lunch at our favourite place but if there is a typhoon out there, we have to seek other options.
“It’s PFAM’s mandate to protect the players and they have been doing a marvellous job in that sense but it may be more practical to deal with the situation together with the clubs, to draw a road map towards a joint solution.”
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