Thursday, 9 August 2007

There's Another Word For Unpaid Employees

Not to be pedantic, but in a way they are called slaves. Funny that, with the country nearing it's 50th year of Independence, we'd think that we've abolished such primitive practice of slavery by now.

Which goes to prove that although the country has progressed, many of the people in it are still stuck in past, with primitive mindset and thinking. BorakBola wanted to talk about this before, but SO MANY things are happening with football in this country that we just couldn't get to it. But after reading a similar story cropping up again, we just have to report this.

We are talking about how football professionals in this country, especially what is happening to players from Sarawak and now, Pahang, are not being paid their wages for months.

Before this it was reported in the local dailies that Sarawak football players have not received their wages for the last 5 months. So much so that the team risked not being able to play in some away matches as they couldn't afford the flight costs.

Malaysian side face uncertain future over unpaid rent

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 - Cash-strapped Malaysian Super League strugglers Sarawak face an uncertain future after they were almost banned from using their own stadium because of unpaid rent.

Sarawak, bottom of the 13-team league, owe millions of ringgit in back rent to the board of the Sarawak Stadium in Kuching, according to The Star newspaper.

Players were only allowed to train at the stadium on Monday after paying the 100-ringgit ($30) daily fee. The team were hit by another blow when they lost chief coach Pengiran Bala, a health department official who was recalled by the regional city council.

Sarawak have only seven points from 18 Super League matches and are favourites to be relegated at the end of the season.

Only one team will drop down this year while two teams from the Premier League will be promoted, boosting next season's Super League to 14 teams
Taken from Soccernet

It was so bad that a special charity match had to be arranged to collect funds to help the players. And some Good Samaritan turned up during training session and donated money to the players

Businessman comes to Sarawak’s aid
JOHOR BARU: Cash-strapped Sarawak, battling to stay alive in the Super League, received a pleasant surprise from a Good Samaritan who turned up at the team’s training session in Kuching on Tuesday to hand out RM1,000 to each player and team official.

Abang Adiqa Jaya forked out a total of RM24,000 for 21 players and three officials with high hopes that the Crocs will get a positive result in their penultimate match in the league against Johor FC in Pasir Gudang tonight.

Sarawak and Malacca are the two teams battling to avoid the lone relegation spot to the Premier League. Sarawak are in 12th place on 10 points – one point more than Malacca. The Crocs will be at home in their final fixture against leaders Perak on Saturday.

Sarawak’s caretaker coach Wahit Uji was more than pleased with the monetary contribution from the managing director of Adiqa Engineering. Earlier, the company had also contributed RM20,000 for the team’s trip to Johor Baru for the match against Johor FC.

It will be Sarawak’s first trip to the peninsula after calling off their Malaysia Cup Group C match against Pahang in Kuantan on May 26 because of financial constraints. Sarawak FA president Nyipa Tinggang later admitted that the association were broke.

Last Saturday, former coach Awang Mahyan Muhamad organised a charity match between Sarawak’s “Ngap Sayot” team of old and a selection of former national players at the Sarawak Stadium in Kuching to raise funds to help pay the salaries of the players.

The players had gone without salaries for the last five months but less than RM5,000 was raised at the match, which was not even enough to pay for the airfare, board and lodging for the peninsula-based former internationals led by Datuk Soh Chin Aun.

Said Wahit: “For the time being the salary issue takes a back seat for us. The players are ready to do battle to avoid the drop. They still have pride and dignity to keep the Sarawak flag flying.

“It is heartening to note that there are still many who want to help Sarawak football. Abang Adiqa is a good example.

“His generosity has certainly lifted the spirits of the players. They were pleasantly surprised to receive the money. The players have vowed to go all out in the remaining two matches.”

Wahit took charge of the team after Pengiran Bala was recalled by his employers, Miri City Council.
Taken from The Star

And now, Kosmo! reported that Pahang players have not been paid their salaries for several months.

Pahang players not paid salaries
Pahang's football players are living under a lot of stress. No, they are not facing any Cup final. They just have not received their salaries for several months. Some are facing lawsuits of various kinds while others have received letters that their cars would be repossessed.

Some of the players have also been evicted from their rented homes. “The players are only staying at home. We have no money to go anywhere,” one player told the daily.

“If I think of my future, I feel it is better for me to try out a new team but if I think of my love for the state, then I certainly want to remain here,” he said.

Pahang FA secretary-general Ahmad Nazri Mat Nor told Kosmo! that the association was making efforts to settle the issue of salaries.

“We have to find other financial resources to solve the problem,” he said, adding that part of the payment had been made to the players.

Ahmad Nazri said the association lacked funds this year due to poor ticket sales.

“If they keep losing, their fans will not want to turn up at the stadium,” he said.
Taken from Kosmo!

Need we remind which state's Sultan is also the President of the FAM?

What's going on? What happened to the funds that each state FAs should have before the domestic season begins? What's going on with the management of these FAs? Surely the goverment, despite the directives by FIFA for governments not to interfere with the country footballing's issues, have to do something. The people responsible must be brought forward and punished. These players are not children, or animals. They have families to take care of, children to feed, bills to pay. How could after so many years that the league in the country have gone professional that this is happening? Something must be done to tackle this now. The players must be protected.

And this is not the first time it has happened. For example, David Mitchell, former Selangor player, left Sarawak when he was coaching the team due to unpaid wages. And best of all MPPJ FC, 2003 Malaysia Cup champion, went bust in 2006. And they had a budget of RM 14 million. But they couldn't pay their players as well for two or three months, so much so that top hotshot, Juan Manuel Arostegui and also Juan Carlos Alberto had to walked our of their team and leave the country for good.

These are all, if we look at it, mismanagement and corruption. But are those people responsible taken to task?

We have even spoken to national players who told us about allowances been given late, sometimes over a few months. For example, according to one player, the national players' allowances from the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Tournament this year, which was played in January and February 2007, was only given to players in the week leading up to the 2007 AFC Asian Cup competition - five months down the line!

Something has to be done, and must be done now.

Khaider Is FAS President
KUCHING, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Khaider Ahmad Zaidel has been unanimously elected to head the debt-stricken Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) while Serian Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Richard Riot Jaem was elected the deputy-president at the association's Annual General Meeting (AGM) here Thursday.

Speaking to the media after the AGM, the 61-year-old lawyer who succeeded businessman Nyipa Tinggang said his first priority was to ensure that all the Sarawak players playing in the Super League now, including the foreign imports, would get their salary by next month or in October.

"I was made to understand that FAS owed the players about seven months in salary amounting to RM600,000," he said, adding that his other priorities would be discussing with the newly elected FAS council members a new strategy as well as making a courtesy call to the Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Looking calm and composed, Khaider said despite the barrage criticisms by the local media and fans following Sarawak's poor performance in the Super League and the ongoing financial problem, FAS would remain positive and was prepared to hold a series of talks with the relevant parties on the best way to rejuvenate the Sarawak football development.

Describing the present FAS situation as "a sinking ship" that needed to be "floated up" urgently, Khaider who also the former FAS honorary secretary from 1984 to 1990 said he was prepared to face the arduous task together with the other council members.

Earlier when addressing the FAS' affiliates after the election, Khaider said FAS would study the association's assets and liabilities to determine the actual cause for the FAS financial problems and seek ways to settle them.

He said that one of the reasons FAS was in the red now was largely due to the fact that operating expenditures exceeded the low gate collection.

He promised the problems would be look into immediately and hinted the possibility of making drastic changes in the present senior squad which fortunately avoided relegation to the Premier League despite the thumping 2-4 defeat to Perak at the Sarawak Stadium last night.

Apart from the president and deputy-president, the AGM also elected Rakawi Ibrahim, Khamis Tuah, Paruwadi Musa, Fadzil Taman and Razali Dolhan as vice-presidents.
Taken from BERNAMA


Hakim Amir said...

a friend of mine, who involves in the are of equipment supplies to various local teams and also the national team, has a simple but brilliant suggestion to help bumbling state FAs like the Sarawak FA and we heard, the Pahang FA (state where current FAM president hails from) :

Apa susah susah, tarak wang mau bayar gaji players, panggil itu state government sells one piece of land la..say for 10 million linggits! then use the money to pay gaji la, pay stadium maintenance laa (example the S'wak paddy field stadium), invest in academy for youths la...haiya... bodola itu state FAs punya orang..


The Hitcher said...

True true, thats what Real Madrid basically did to overcome their own debts - selling their training ground etc. Your friend is correct. Problem is, if it happens here - when even after the state gov sells any piece of land, from say RM 10 mill, RM 6 mill sudah masuk pocket these official and that official, that person and this person, in the end, the FA only 'gets' RM 4 mill, which of course still wouldn't solve the problem.
"a friend of mine, who involves in the are of equipment supplies to various local teams and also the national team" - cam kenal je...heheheh

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