Written by Ahmad Rizduan and originally appearing on Vocket FC in the Malay Language.
Here is the English Translation :-
THERE is no perfect solution from the legal point of view over a possible reduction or deferral to the players’ salaries as a result of the economic impact following the suspension of the M-League in light of the pandemic COVID-19.
Sports law expert Richard Wee has instead told both parties – employer and employee – to negotiate for a joint solution if teams find it difficult to manage cash-flows in the absence of a regular revenue stream during the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“On one hand, the players might be worried that the clubs are making this as an excuse not to pay their salaries in full and that it will create a bad precedent.
“But on the other, 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 find other options,” said Richard who co-founded the Sports Law Association of Malaysia (SLAM).
The former secretary of the Malaysian Bar Council agrees with FA of Malaysia’s call for both parties to hold an open discussion in coming up with measures to cope with the possibility of reduced or deferrals of salaries.
“All clubs and players are advised to adhere to their respective contracts. However, the identity and character of football contracts are meant for a proper football season to proceed. If the season cannot proceed, clubs may not have sufficient funds to continue.
“If the clubs wish to vary or suspend the contract, its best to be transparent. Illustrate the Club’s financial position 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 club is facing.
“The players can then decide on their next course of action.“In my view, while there are legal paths to solve this COVID-19 intervention, perhaps a more practical position is to gravitate towards a collaborative and cooperative path for a joint solution.”
Richard also understood Professional Footballers’ Association of Malaysia’s position in protecting the interests of the players but calls for a reasonable and practical solution to the issue.
“I understand and respect why PFAM is taking a strong position in not wanting to negotiate with regards to the salary of the players. It is the mandate of PFAM 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,” he said.
Published on April 10th, 2020