Southeast Asia Malaysia

“Melaka United Must be Punished.”

Australian-Malaysian midfielder Curran Singh Ferns have called for Melaka United to be punished following their failure to pay his salary compensation, which is worth 97,500 Malaysian Ringgit. This came after it was discovered that Melaka had failed to pay Thai midfielder Narupon Wild after a 45-day window given to them by FIFA, which means that the Mousedeers are threatened to be slapped with a mid-season transfer ban.

Melbourne-based Ferns have filed a complaint regarding the money owed to him by Melaka to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) through the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM). Having disputed with the Mousedeers for months regarding his salary arrears, Ferns had cut off his ties with the club and the former Sukhothai FC and FELDA United player is now currently a free agent.

“Melaka owe me money and the deadline for them to pay is on February 17th,” said Ferns, as quoted from the New Straits Times, “If they fail to pay, the only reasonable punishment is for Melaka to have their club license revoked and banish them away from the Liga Super.”

Previously, Melaka were asked by FIFA to pay Narupon his salary compensation on November 12th of last year, which was worth a staggering 241,726.69 Malaysian Ringgit. Melaka were given 45 days to pay the money to Narupon, who currently plies his trade at Thai League 2 promotion chasers Chiangmai FC. However, 45 days have passed since FIFA’s request and Melaka were yet to pay out the money owed to Narupon.

“We received a response from FIFA and they acknowledged Melaka have not complied with their financial obligations following the world body’s decision,” said Narupon, as quoted from the New Straits Times, “In this regard, the DRC (FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber) judge pointed out that the consequence of it may lead to a registration ban until the full amount is paid.”

Narupon had severed ties with Melaka on July of 2020, with 31-year old confiding to the media that the whole salary debacle had left him and his family in a state of financial distress. With the health of Narupon’s unborn child under threat from the stressful conditions, the former Buriram United player terminated his contract with Melaka and moved back to Thailand with his family, where they reside ever since.

Melaka chief executive officer Datuk Saiful Mat Sapri confirmed that they are aware of both the mid-season transfer ban order filed by FIFA due to Narupon’s case and the deadline posed to them by Ferns in regards of his own case.

“We are aware and we are trying to settle Narupon’s claim,” Saiful told the New Straits Times, “Even though the deadline has passed, we will try to settle it as soon as possible. We will source for the funding to settle the amount. For Ferns’ claim, we are also aware of it and will pay him as soon as possible.”

Saiful noted that the financial crisis that Melaka has been experiencing right now was down to the lack of sponsorship from 2020 that has impacted the preparations for the 2021 season. This led to wages being owed and contributions to the Employees Provident Fund and Inland Revenue Board being delayed.

“This year’s budget has been slashed by 50%. We are sourcing for sponsors,” said Saiful, “We are opening up opportunities for companies to do businesses with the club.”

Melaka’s financial woes saw them deducted three points for failing to meet a payment schedule to settle salary arrears in the 2020 season.