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Exclusive: Kelantan players left in financial limbo – yet again?


That was precisely what Datuk Vida’s sponsorship of Kelantan meant to the fans. It came across as a transition period. For a club that dominated the local football scene only a few years back, this was a key opportunity to catch up with the rest.

Much of Kelantan’s season in 2015 was beleaguered by constant speculations of unpaid salaries – a claim that they could never officially deny. So when it became apparent that the players weren’t getting paid, it didn’t surprise anyone. Fans saw it coming, the entire fraternity saw it coming.

But Datuk Vida’s sponsorship was supposedly the solution. She’ll come in, pump in her money and let the football people run the football club. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. A source has now revealed to us that Kelantan players have not been fully paid for the month of March.

Photo Credit: The Malay Mail
Photo Credit: The Malay Mail

“The players are frustrated, they’ve not been fully paid. The local players have only received 70% of their actual salary. The foreigners have received nothing yet,” the source said. “KAFA is not being helpful as well. They claim that the payment can only be sorted out once Datuk Vida gets back from her ‘scouting mission’ in Spain.”

While it has not been confirmed as to whether Datuk Vida is currently in Spain, this was the exact piece of info that was relayed to the players, which definitely comes as a major surprise, as it reveals the degree of influence that Datuk Vida now has over KAFA’s funds. It’s an influence that’s becoming largely problematic, from an organization’s point of view. Something as basic as salary payment, needs to be executed without unnecessary bureaucratic barriers. After all, the contractual details of each player was sorted out prior to the season.

Our source also went on to add that the players have not been able to establish communication KAFA President, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, to channel their grief. “He hasn’t spoken much to the players over the last three months and the players are definitely getting affected by this.”

Photo credits- themalaymailonline.com
Photo credits- themalaymailonline.com

Now of course, this does not even come close to the situation Kelantan were embroiled in, last season. On a scale, this case is arguably smaller. But you can’t help but feel if Kelantan players are getting tired of being mistreated, having lived through the horror of not getting paid, in 2015.

Ironically, this would perhaps explain Kelantan’s poor performance against T-Team earlier this week, when they succumbed to a 4-2 defeat. Let’s call a spade, a spade. Football is a game of passion. But like anywhere else in the world today, it’s also a business, it’s also a career for these players – they’ve got bills to pay and families to feed. Just like in any other business environment, morale is more often than not premised on how a particular organization treats you. Employees that don’t get treated well, generally struggle to perform.

The case might be similar here. And it’s even more alarming when you consider that Kelantan are scheduled to face Johor DT tonight. “Kelantan sedia jadi pasukan pertama tumbangkan JDT” is the headline on Berita Harian today. Perhaps, they should aspire to sort out the organizational mess, before even thinking of ousting JDT on the pitch.

Priorities, where art thou?

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