PETALING JAYA: The organisers of the M-League – Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) – have finally cracked the whip.
Super League sides Kelantan and T-Team and Premier League outfits Armed Forces and Perlis have been docked six points each with immediate effect for failing to pay their players’ salaries and for not settling their players’ income tax payments and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions.
The points deduction has resulted in Kelantan dropping two rungs from fifth to seventh spot in the 12-team Super League standings with 10 points. T-Team are eighth after going down one rung with also 10 points.
In the Premier League, Forces dropped into the relegation zone from ninth to 11th spot while Perlis stayed bottom of the 12-team standings without a point.
The culprits have also been issued stern warnings: settle the dues; otherwise face relegation or even expulsion from the M-League.
The four teams are not eligible to sign any new players during the second transfer window from May 15-June 11, unless they reduce their players’ wages.
The FMLLP decided to take the drastic step after their repeated warnings fell on deaf ear.
The four teams now have six months – until Oct 31 – to settle their debts or they could be relegated for the 2018 M-League.
If their financial situation does not improve before the new season kicks off next January, they will be expelled from the 2018 M-League season.
FMLPP chief executive officer Kevin Ramalingam (pic) said that the four teams owed approximately RM4mil-RM5mil in total.
“The teams are required to provide us with details of their wage payment records as part of the registration process for them to play in the M-League … this is a process which has always been there,” said Kevin yesterday.
Only one team in the M-League history have been docked points for unpaid wages, so far.
In 2015, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) docked Super League side Pahang six points after their former player – Mohammed Borji – lodged a complaint with FIFA over his unpaid salary.
Meanwhile, the FAM disciplinary committee have fined Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Kelantan RM10,000 for crowd trouble.
JDT fans threw rolls of receipt papers onto the field during their match against Malacca on April 9 at Larkin Stadium while Kelantan’s supporters threw plastic bottles onto the pitch during their match against JDT on April 12 at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru.