ATM, Kelantan and Felda risk point deduction, relegation over unpaid salaries
FMLLP – the new guardians of the top four football competitions in the country – vow not to tolerate non-payment of salaries and will seek to put strict policies that result in points deduction and relegation for non-compliance.
This comes after the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) refused to rule out a strike following Kelantan, ATM and Felda's failure to pay monies due to 21 players for matters ranging from salaries to termination compensation.
We will not compromise on this. We don’t want to see the same team with the same issues but no action is taken
PFAM also called for an end to clubs offering players double contracts – where one contract is declared to Football Association (FAM), while another, undisclosed contract that is usually of a higher value is also issued.
Fifteen former ATM players found out the hard way after the FAM status committee ignored the undeclared contract, forcing the players to file a suit against the club in civil court.
FMLLP chief executive officer Kevin Ramalingam said a league congress meeting will seek to pass a motion to implement such measures next month.
“We have only now taken over the running of the leagues. These payments in dispute are from last year, mostly. Not to say, it is not under our jurisdictions whatsoever. We are also looking at debt incurred in the previous years as well,” Ramalingam said.
“We met representatives from ATM today (Wednesday) and made it clear that a date will be set for them to pay what is owed to the players. If they cannot settle it then points will be deducted and if payment is still not made after that, they could face relegation.
“We will not compromise on this. We don’t want to see the same team with the same issues but no action is taken. The same will also apply to statutory payments like the retirement and welfare funds of the players.
“At the same time, players must also help themselves and not sign two contracts. These issues must be sorted as well. It has been prevalent because both parties seem keen for it to be that way.
“As far as the administration is concerned, the players have a contract submitted to us. Whether there is a second, third or fourth contract is something nobody knows until issues like this crop up. It’s not legal to have two contracts.
“We are concerned about this trend. I won’t say that it’s good this happened but on the positive side, these cases highlight prevalent issues and we are putting down a process to sort it out,” Ramalingam added.
Ramalingam was speaking at the PFAM Player of the Month re-launch on Saujana Hotel on Wednesday. FourFourTwo are part of the panel of selectors for the award.
Also present at the event was former ATM coach B. Satiananthan, who like his former charges is waiting for compensation from the club since being sacked in April last year.