PETALING JAYA: Premier League outfit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) have become the first M-League team to slash players’ salaries to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.
The movement control order (MCO) from March 18 to April 14 has forced the M-League to a four-week standstill. With no gate-takings, teams have been left struggling financially.
Only super-rich Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), the Super League champions, could afford to implement a 33% pay cut with the money going to the Johor disaster fund to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
UKM FC honorary secretary Mohd Fairus Shafie said they have imposed a 15%-20% pay cut starting from today until the MCO is lifted and the decision has been accepted by the players who understood the financial difficulties faced by the management.
He added their sponsors, too, were struggling to fulfil their obligations and that forced the management to take the difficult decision.
“The salaries for March have been settled.
“For April, we have informed of the players about the deduction and the players have accepted the decision as the league remains suspended, ” said Mohd Fairus.
“We only impose a maximum of 20% cut while the lower-salaried players will get a 15% cut. This will continue until the MCO period ends and subject to both parties’ agreement.”
“We understand that the players are under contract but we are facing a very challenging period and we appreciate the players’ willingness to cooperate.”
UKM captain Asnan Ahmad said the management’s decision was in the best interest of the team and in-depth discussions will be held between players and management to find the best solution, especially in terms of players’ welfare.
“We have been informed of the pay cuts. I hope the decision will be in the best interests of both parties especially during this challenging period, ” said the 27-year-old.
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