Pain in the arrears

Oh dear, the Mousedeer are in trouble!

After a blistering start, Melaka were brought down to earth after losing their last two Super League matches against Pahang (0-1) and Felda United (2-3).

To further compound matters, the team are now suddenly in the relegation zone due to their own folly. The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have deducted three points from Melaka’s six in the Super League for their failure to follow the financial plans that they have submitted to the body to settle players’ arrears.

The Mousedeer are now 11th in the league with three points, and if they do not settle their arrears, relegation could be a possibility.

FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said the decision to deduct Melaka’s points was made by the Club Licensing First Instance Body after it was found that the team did not settle their dues to players after the first payment on Jan 31.

The FAM will now give Melaka up to April 30 to settle their dues, and if they fail to do so, another six points will be deducted from them.

The team have accepted the charges and said they would do whatever it takes to settle the amount owed to players and officials.

Melaka Football Association secretary-general Farhan Ibrahim said that their failure to settle RM1.4mil owed to players and officials is due to financial constraints, even though most of the 2019 sponsorship money was used to pay the arrears.

“We have not received the sponsorship money for 2020. The association would like to admit that the failure to pay is not related to the political changes and also the Covid-19 situation, ” he said.

“The timeline given by the FAM was fair and the extension period requested until March 14 was during the stewardship of our previous president Damien Yeo Shen Li.

“Now, with the change of leadership in our state, we believe that the financial constraints and other problems will be solved immediately to ensure that the team would not face further points deduction.”

Meanwhile, Police, Sarawak and Kelantan have taken positive steps in their bid to settle their arrears and the FAM said no action would be taken for now.

Stuart said the FAM would always monitor the situation and reminded clubs that they would not accept the current Covid-19 situation as a reason for clubs to slack when it comes to financial requirements.

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