Southeast Asia Malaysia

KL City Captain Reveals that Players Went Unpaid Up to SEVEN MONTHS

Kuala Lumpur City FC captain Paulo Josue dropped a bombshell this week by revealing that he has gone SEVEN MONTHS unpaid whilst turning out for the City Boys week in and week out, with the naturalized Malaysia international hinting that others have gone unpaid as well for different periods of time.

Paulo’s statement was quite ironic as prior to the season, with Kuala Lumpur acing a potential registration ban from FIFA, the club’s patron, Malaysia’s communications minister Fahmi Fadzli, had expressed his commitment to resolve all of Kuala Lumpur’s unpaid wages as soon as possible.

However, in reality, Kuala Lumpur’s financial woes continued to fester, so much so to the point of Paulo deciding to remain at the City Boys out of loyalty towards the club. The Brazil-born attacker had been using his savings to sustain himself and his family throughout the past seven months.

“Some KL City players have unpaid salary issues from March but their situation is not as bad as mine as the last time I was paid was in December last year,” said Paulo, as quoted from both Harian Metro and the New Strait Times, “I have discussed this issue with KL City’s management and they promised to pay half a month’s salary. It turned out to be a false promise as they did not pay. A lot of people have asked me why I am still with KL City. I am still here because this team is very dear to me and I also love playing as a professional player.”

Shockingly, Syed Yazid Syed Omar, director of Kuala Lumpur United FC Sdn Bhd, the company that owns Kuala Lumpur City FC, expressed his disbelief that his players had been unpaid for such a long time.

“I will meet with the players to gain a clearer understanding of the salary arrears affecting the team. Each player may have different arrears, and it is quite surprising that Josue has not been paid for up to seven months,” said Syed, as quoted from the New Strait Times.

Kuala Lumpur CEO Stanley Bernard admitted that there were some financial arrears and voiced his understanding towards the players’ growing concerns regarding their unpaid salaries.

“The funds have been sourced but I am wondering why is it on hold? I’ve been in charge of the team for four years, from 2021 to 2023, we played in three finals, winning the Malaysia Cup in 2021,” said former national team player Stanley, as quoted from The Star, “This year, we will be competing in the AFF Club Championship. In terms of results, we are delivering, there are merits, but we have issues in terms of funds. Is football really important? Maybe not for some people. No one is giving us straight-up answers. I do not blame the players for voicing out. They have done a lot for the club and have every right to demand an answer.”

Paulo himself has stated that he and his teammates are tired of playing the waiting game and will concentrate their efforts for the upcoming Klang Valley Derby with arch-rivals Selangor FC at the KLFA Stadium on Saturday.

“I’ll go to the office today as I need answers. I’m tired of waiting,” said Paulo, as quoted from The Star, “Nobody is giving the right answers. They constantly postpone the payments and at times I wonder why are they lying … this is my livelihood. How long do we have to wait? I faced the same situation last year but they were solved. Now, it’s another seven-month due. I’ll have to report it to FIFA if this is not solved. The team are not going to boycott the training session because of this. We will play in the Klang Valley Derby. Fans will come to the stadium and as professionals, we want to play the game for them. We will come and train as normal. This is for the fans.”

Financial issues had been plaguing clubs in the Liga Super Malaysia and the country’s overall footballing pyramid in the past few years. Notable names such as Kelantan FC, Perlis FA, and Sarawak United had to sit out from competing due to their financial woes, while others such as FELDA United, Kuantan FA, Sarawak FA, and Melaka United succumbed to their financial issues and subsequently went bust.