FORMER national player Datuk Jamal Nasir has advised M-League players to monetise their hobbies or find new ways to supplement their income as their salaries could be slashed soon due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Jamal said players have to accept pay cuts and prepare themselves for other possibilities as the season could be shortened or declared null and void.
“With the high cost of living, players and others will suffer if wages are slashed. And those with no savings will be hit harder.
“If a player has the talent to do business, then they should start something small to pay their bills.
“Players need to come up with creative ways to supplement their income as teams do not have the financial strength any more to pay salaries in full.
“It can be done as the league is currently suspended.
“Everyone is struggling. Some are even losing jobs because of the pandemic. Players need to forget that they are professional footballers for now.
“However, I believe this will not be a long-term problem. The Malaysian football scene will be back to normal next year.”
Many players are now doing side businesses to supplement their income. Melaka midfielder Jasmir Mehat is selling mee rebus and other delicacies online for extra cash.
Jamal said teams cannot afford to keep paying players in full as they are facing financial woes due to loss of income from gate collections and sponsorships.
“Both teams and players must compromise and come up with solutions. Teams must also decide on a proper wage-cut mechanism. Teams who are financially strong should not slash salaries by half.
“For teams with financial issues, they might face difficulties honouring their obligations, so both parties must sit and talk about it.
“I believe if the current Covid-19 pandemic drags on, some players will not receive their salary in full for long periods, so it is better to negotiate now,” he added.