BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Dato’ Windsor John has urged Malaysian football administrators and players to find a win-win solution in overcoming the expected fallout of the global Covid-19 outbreak.
In an interview produced by Malaysian competitions organiser Malaysian Football League on Sunday, March 29, Windsor acknowledged that the crisis, which has led to the suspension of almost all football competitions across the globe, will impact the finances of clubs.
“Some teams may lack the sufficient cash reserves to get them through a sustained period without revenue coming in, whether in terms of gate collection, sponsorship or governmental support. Clubs may not be able to fulfil their contractual obligations the same way as before. Reports from Europe have been highlighting that players are taking a pay cut or deferrals on wage payments.
"Hence in times of crises, we need big hearts. Under the present circumstances, this is the time for everyone to see the bigger picture. AFC would encourage member associations and players to understand the situation.
“It’s not the time for fault-finding but it is time to understand each other more. In short, we need everyone to sit down and find a solution together. The wider impact of any decision has to be the motivating factor over individual circumstances,” said the former Malaysian FA official.
Windsor John. Photo from Getty
He also called for the football fraternity in Malaysia to emulate their Indonesian counterparts, who reportedly successfully negotiated a financial solution to the current situation.
“In the Malaysian context, AFC is urging for the teams and players representatives to find the right model in dealing with the possible consequences, as what has been done by Indonesian governing body PSSI.
“PSSI sat down with the stakeholders and agreed to a solution. We support the decisions made in times of crisis. Ultimately, we do not want clubs to be terminating contracts if they find they are no longer sustainable.
“While the clubs are obligated to pay the salaries in full, we cannot expect them to do so if there is no revenue. Talk to the teams and see what they can offer,” urged Windsor.
Players of several top clubs in the world such as Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, Juventus and Bundesliga outfits recently agreed to have their salaries temporarily docked, either as a measure to help the clubs' finances, or to help the minnows.
The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia however (PFAM) on Saturday, March 28 issued a statement rejecting proposals that the wages of footballers in the country be slashed during the suspension of competitions.
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