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Steve Darby vs KAFA: Why are we not talking about the ‘discount’?

It’s a never-ending cycle of incompetency and nepotism, isn’t it? Or is there a bigger problem influencing Steve Darby’s battle for justice?

If you’ve been following this case through reports on various media organizations, you’d probably think that the case is close to a conclusion. Kelantan (KAFA) are required to pay Steve Darby a grand total of RM165,000 by June 8, based on the revised judgment that was handed out last month.

Also, you’d be inclined to think that FAM has done a decent job at bringing this case to a conclusion. But here’s the thing, no explanation has been provided to explain the ‘discount’, which is relatively severe, if you knew the original amount.

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

When Kelantan FA sacked Steve Darby in April 2016, they were only willing to pay three months of his salary, as compensation for terminating his contract – a dubious amount, considering he had 17 months left on his two-year deal with the East Coast side. But the ex-Perak boss opted to only request for a nine-month payout.

KAFA though, refused to agree to the amount and allegedly failed to respond to queries and requests from Steve Darby and his lawyers, on numerous occasions. FAM then stepped into the issue – after an affidavit was sent by Steve and his lawyers – ordering KAFA to negotiate a pay-off with Steve Darby. Predictably, KAFA ignored it.

So in July 2015, the FAM status committee opted to take matters into their own hands by evaluating the case, before ordering KAFA to pay the full amount of RM636,000, as initially demanded by Steve. Yet again, KAFA refused to entertain the matter and continued ignoring Steve’s constant efforts to establish communication.

But towards the end of 2015, KAFA submitted an appeal to FAM, requesting for the amount to be reduced. After months of waiting on the sidelines, Steve was finally informed of his fate last month and it did not bode well with the 61 year-old.

FAM’s appeal committee officially accepted the appeal, requesting KAFA to only pay RM165,000, a significant drop from the initial amount of RM636,000. Worse still, it’s been weeks since the decision was made, but Steve and his team have not received the grounds of judgment, which essentially means no explanation has been provided as to why a major ‘discount’ was handed out to KAFA.

While FAM’s appeal committee have every right to evaluate cases and provide judgments that contradict the initial decision, it’s relatively unclear as to why a ‘major discount’ would be handed out in this case. KAFA opted to sack Steve and as a result, aren’t they contractually obligated to negotiate a pay-off deal?

If a deal wasn’t reached, shouldn’t they be required to pay-off the remainder of Steve’s two-year deal? What sort of external factors warrant a discount that’s approximately worth 471,000? And more importantly, a judgment can only be made, if the grounds for it were finalized. In that case, why is it taking so long for FAM to forward the grounds of judgment to Steve and his team of lawyers, considering a judgment was made almost one month ago?

Steve-Darby-Appointed-As-Laos-Technical-DirectorFAM, there are plenty of questions begging to be answered. But even if we were to put this issue aside, it remains to be seen if KAFA fulfill its obligation of paying RM165,000 to Steve Darby by June 8.

Take a guess?

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