Malaysia Football League member Datuk Yusoff Mahadi

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Football League (MFL) is prepared to introduce a quota system for M-League teams’ expenditure, which includes the hiring of players.

This move is to address the issue of teams owing their players money for non-payment of salaries.

As a result, the M-League is said to be the worst in Asia for the most number of cases (262) of unpaid salaries, owing to players and coaches.

According to MFL board member, Datuk Yusoff Mahadi, the quota system which is used in the Spanish league (including La Liga), has proved to be successful as it has led to the clearing of debts in the European country since its introduction in 2012.

Yusoff explained that through the strategic cooperation established with La Liga last year, a similar approach will be considered for the M-League for all 24 teams.

He said based on La Liga’s records up till now, they have managed to wipe out teams’ debts, including the issue of salary arrears owed to players by 2017, which in 2012 amounted to €90 million (RM422.87 million).

“Based on such a method, La Liga’s expenditure control system managed to reduce the huge amount of debts involving salary arrears reported in 340 cases in 2012, to absolutely nothing in 2017.

“In 2012, there were a few teams out of the 42 clubs in La Liga that were facing bankruptcy and with the implementation of such an expenditure quota system, the league administrators managed to help financially troubled teams to settle debts and structure expenditure according to the teams’ financial strengths and capabilities.

“By implementing such an expenditure quota system, every team will have to present their financial accounts available to them to compete along with valid sponsorship and endorsement contracts, and not just verbal agreements.

“The expenditure of each team will be controlled, which includes purchasing of players. For example, even though a club may have funds amounting to RM50 million, they will only be allowed to spend up to only RM20 million to ensure that their finances are stable for the entire season,” he said.

Yusoff added that through such a system, teams that fail to resolve their debts and salary issues will face the prospect of being discarded from the M-League, such as what happened to Elche FC, who were dropped from La Liga after sinking into debt despite finishing the 2014-2015 season in 13th place.

“Apart from Elche FC, Real Murcia were also punished because they failed to adhere to the rules, and were ordered to play in the third tier of Spanish football despite being in the top half of La Liga 2 for failing to clear their debts in 2014.

“So, I believe the MFL is back on the right track whereby such a system will not only smoothen the league but also educate and discipline M-League teams on managing their finances,” he added.