AMID the Covid-19 outbreak, several top clubs in Europe, including Barcelona, are planning to reduce the salaries of their first-team players to offset the economic impact.
Outside the sporting world, many have lost their jobs while some employers have resorted to slashing salaries.
With even Barcelona, one of the richest football clubs in the
world, contemplating cutting salaries, we can expect smaller teams, including those in the M-League, to suffer if the pandemic worsens.
The M-League has been temporarily halted, and it will take months before it can resume.
Some teams depend heavily on gate collections to sustain themselves. But this is not the only problem.
Sponsors are also looking for an escape plan from their agreements with teams.
FAM and the Malaysia Football League have warned the teams not to slash salaries.
Based on the rules, both parties can take strict actions, including imposing fines and deducting points.
But such punitive measures are hardly a solution as most teams do not have enough money to cushion the devastating impact of the Covid-19.
The Kedah FA (KFA) are already feeling the impact just over a week after the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed.
KFA honorary secretary Asmirul Aris said: “We would be lying if we say the Covid-19 has not affected us financially.
“For example, we lost a lot of money from gate collections when we played Selangor behind closed doors at the Darulaman Stadium on March 15.
“Our venue is normally packed to the brim when we play teams like Selangor, Johor Darul Ta’zim and Pahang.
“Some of our sponsors are also feeling the heat and are struggling to fulfil their agreement with us.”
Asmirul said KFA will try to use all their channels to raise enough money to sustain the team and pay salaries.
“We may need more support from the state government.
We will also re-negotiate our deals with sponsors, so that they can still finance us.
“I will also propose a formula to KFA on how those who earn a lot can help those who do not,” he added.