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Coronavirus: UKM forced to cut players' wages due to league suspension

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Premier League side UKM FC have become among the first Malaysian clubs to slash their players' wages during the ongoing suspension of competitions.

Club honorary secretary Fairus Shafie told the Malaysian Football League (MFL) that they have been forced to make the decision due to the absence of matches brought about by the global outbreak of the covid-19 outbreak.

"We have paid the players' March salary, but for April we have no choice but to reduce their wages, and most players have accepted the decision due to the league suspension.

"We are only slashing a maximum of 20 per cent of their pay, while those at the lower end of the play scale will only be docked 15 per cent. This will only be done until the movement restriction order is in effect, and is subject to discussion between both parties.

"I understand that players have contracts, but this unprecedented situation is a challenging time for all parties and I appreciate their understanding. The sponsors are unable to help us at the moment because they too have been affected, so this is the best formula for the benefit of all," said the team official.

Team skipper Asnan Ahmad told MFL that the decision is a tough, yet necessary one.

"We have been informed of the pay reduction, and after this we'll hold more in-depth discussions to find a win-win solution. Whatever decision taken must be made for the benefit of both parties, especially in these trying times.

"And I agree that discussions be held regularly between teams and players, so that a middle ground can be found," noted the defender.

Player paycuts have been proposed by clubs and football administrators in the country as a way to alleviate clubs' current financial burden due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia last week rejected the suggestion.

So far in Malaysia, only players of cash-rich Johor Darul Ta'zim have agreed to a 33 per cent paycut, as claimed by the club earlier this week.

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