Following the world governing body FIFA's announcement yesterday, FAM have moved quick to ensure that they also apply the same to the football fraternity in Malaysia that like the rest of the world, have been affected by the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus which caused competitive football to be suspended.
That in turn has impacted the teams from a financial standpoint and the FIFA guidelines was made to protect the interest of all players and teams during this time of crisis. Acting on that, FAM has now introduced a 3-step process for teams to come into a new financial agreement with those under their care.
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The steps are as follow;
- Step 1 - If there is a need to review the salary status of a contract, clubs must negotiate directly with the players and technical officials to find the appropriate Collective Agreement. The Collective Agreement must be finalised latest by April 22, 2020.
- Step 2 - League organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL) and the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) are encouraged to negotiate and draft a Temporary Wage Structure package agreeable to all parties. In this aspect, FAM is recommending to MFL to immediately initiate a discussion with PFAM and to prepare a Collective Agreement by April 22, 2020.
- Step 3 - If the parties failed to reach an amicable solution by then, they may take the matter to FAM. At this stage, MFL and clubs are reminded not to make any unilateral decisions, even if it is stipulated in the guiding principle of the FIFA’s guidelines, without referring to FAM. MFL and the clubs are also reminded to adhere to all the conditions to be determined by FAM before a case is submitted for settlement.
This means that the respective teams will now have a period of two weeks to negotiate with the players and officials on Collective Agreement that will be put in place of the terms in their original contracts during this period of inactivity.
In the statement put out by FAM today, general-secretary Stuart Ramalingam is calling for all clubs, players and officials to not waste any more time in pursuing this matter and is pleading for the relevant parties to accept a new compromise to ensure the long term future of the game.
“For any club that requires a discussion during this time, it’s now a FIFA directive that all clubs, players and officials can begin discussions without fear of this being wrong. We urge all clubs to understand the steps and stipulations mentioned by FIFA and ensure these decisions with players and officials are conducted in a professional and transparent manner
“PFAM’s refusal to open the door for discussions did not benefit anybody and in fact had wasted a lot of precious time in finding an amicable solution. When we proposed everyone to sit down and discuss with an open mind, there were parties who rejected the idea. Now that FIFA has come up with the directives, we hope nobody tries to play the hero when the situation warrants a collaboration and to look at the bigger picture.”
"What is clear is that FAM wishes to avoid a situation whereby the players and coaches continue to be paid according to the present terms and conditions whereas the teams are facing a financial instability that may lead to bankruptcy and subsequently the loss of jobs for many.”
“FAM has to make this difficult decision with the highest consideration to our key stakeholders – the players and officials – but under the present circumstances, we have to make a collective decision based on the present realities of the industry.”
"Only through a sustainable industry which is based on our considerations can we overcome this unprecedented precarious situation we are in right now. Under these circumstances, FAM’s intention is to strike a balance between protecting everyone’s interests and the need to look at the long-term perspective," said Stuar in the statement.
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