Set the date first, then we’ll talk

The M-League clubs are in deep trouble, with no gate takings, and sponsors who are now reluctant or unable to part with money. Desperate, they want a discussion with players over wages, contracts, welfare and other matters.

The players, however, are not keen on the talks, at least not yet.

Their stance is: “let the league resume and then we talk.”

The players will get together and discuss what is best for everyone once the Malaysian Football League (MFL) comes up with a definite date for the resumption of the league,

Selangor’s Brazilian midfielder Sandro Mendonca said discussions can only be done if the football body come up with a date after the movement control order (MCO) is over.

“Look, it is a tough decision because we players are not to blame for what is happening in the world, ” said the 36-year-old.

“But we also know that it is challenging for clubs because they have obligations to players, employees and many other things. I think we have to first to know how long the championship will be stopped.”The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and MFL have suspended all M-League and footballing activities to adhere to the MCO from March 18 to April 14.

Without gate collections and many sponsors also being affected by the MCO, many M-League teams are starting to feel the financial pinch.

FAM and MFL have asked for talks but the the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) have been adamant with their demands and have refused to meet up with team managements to strike a deal.

“It is a time of crisis in all areas of work and not only in football. As soon as there is a definite date, I think we athletes will decide what will be better for all, ” said Sandro.

“It is a complicated situation for the world. We have to take care of our health and our family first, ” said Sandro.

“There are lots of tough decisions to be made by MFL and FAM. Right now, we need to know the restart date of the league. They might have to sacrifice some competition, I do not know which one.

“Another way out could be a game every three days, which in my opinion, can affect the quality of the games, ” he said.

Right now, Sandro is enjoying time with his wife and daughters, but at the same time, he realises that he needs to up his game once the league resumes.

“My performance is still slightly below what it was last year. In midfield, I am now playing with Brendan (Gan) and Safuwan (Baharuddin).

“They are excellent players, but with different styles. We need a little more time for us to understand 100% on the field, but we were progressing very well.”

The creative playmaker is doing his best to spend quality time with his loved ones as all these years, his time has been pretty much taken over by football duties.

“With our busy football life, we don’t have much time for our children. Now, I can monitor their studies, play and exercise with them, and do many things together.

“It is not easy to be home all day, because we athletes miss training and competitions and the adrenaline of matches, but I’m also enjoying family time.”

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