Action needed against clubs not paying wages
More action is needed against football clubs who don’t pay players wages, the Malta Federation of Professional Association (MFPA) have argued.
The MFPA has been following the saga of the Floriana FC players, where the football club has not yet paid the full wages of eight players.
The players filed complaints with the Players, Coaches, Player's Agents, and Member Clubs Compliants Board (PCCB) to request payment of wages owed to them. In a sitting on December 17, 2012, a decision was handed down in their favour, after Floriana FC admitted to all claims. Wages have been due since the beginning of the season, the Association announced. Payment was promised by mid-January in respect of the Maltese players, whilst the foreign players who were also granted their release on the basis that they are professionals and depend on the income for their livelihood and that of their families, insisted to be paid earlier.
At the time, Floriana FC were subjected to a prohibition from transferring any players in view of debts owed to thirds. The Maltese players of Floriana FC were paid a small part of their owed wages by mid-January, which they accepted since it was better than nothing the MFPA stated. "Some of the non-Maltese players were paid, whilst others weren’t".
The prohibition on Floriana FC was later lifted and the club was able to transfer players. Due to the current rules of the Malta Football Association (MFA), the players were able to insist on their claim in the Council meeting which took place on the February 4, once the transfer window had closed. This resulted in another prohibition being imposed on Floriana FC.
During the transfer window, the club was allowed to procure a number of new players, and consequently increased its debt, the MFPA added.
The MFPA further explained that two other players playing for Hamrun and Marsaxlokk suffered the same problems and both clubs suffered a prohibition.
The MFPA called upon the MFA to immediately amend its rules to deter such practices in future. “Its unacceptable that Floriana FC make headlines on all local newspapers last week practically declaring that business is as usual, and confirm new signings when staggering amounts of money are due to players”.
Explaining the players’ situation, the MFPA stated that players who refuse to continue with their contracts and not attend training or matches may be accused of breach of contract, identified as defectors, or accused of only looking after their personal interests.