FAM: Show us the money or it’s game over

PETALING JAYA: Football teams with poor financial management will be booted out of the M-League next season.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have already punished several teams for their lack of financial acumen in the ongoing season.

Super League sides Police and Melaka and Premier League side Kelantan were docked points for failing to settle their players’ wage arrears.

FA Cup winners Kedah are also in hot water after 23 of their players lodged complaints earlier this month to the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) over unpaid wages.

The FAM Club Licensing First Instance Body (FIB) would examine the financial status of all 24 M-League teams after their documentation submission deadline on Aug 31 before issuing the licences for the 2021 season.

The financial status include salary arrears, debts owed to government agencies such as the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said M-League teams would have two options to solve their unpaid wages with their players.

“Teams either pay the overdue salaries or have a mutual agreement with their players and coaching staff to settle the overdue payments.

“If teams cannot settle their debts this season, it would be difficult for them to get a licence to play in the M-League next year, ” said Stuart.

“I believe all the M-League teams will be able to submit the documents by the Aug 31 deadline. The problem is the content of the documentations.

“Some teams have overdue payments and it could affect their chances of getting their licences, ” he added.

“Our hands are tied as it is the FIB who will decide on the teams’ licences based on their documentations.”

Stuart said the Covid-19 situation which saw the M-League suspended since March 16, followed by the financial downturn in the country and changes in state governments had severely impacted some of the teams.

“The Covid-19 situation affected some of the teams quite badly. I feel pity for them and we at FAM are trying to help them find solutions to their problems, ” said Stuart.

“Take Kelantan for example. They were doing well in settling their overdue payments and were catching up with the 2019 payments and also had no problems with their 2020 payments until the Covid-19 outbreak hindered their progress.”

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