Better to call it off earlier would save the clubs financially while dealing with the contracts of the players
Bashundhara Kings, the Bangladesh Premier League champions, have been in trouble over the contracts of their ‘highly-paid’ foreign recruits including World Cupper Daniel Colindres whose deal ends in June this year.
The top-flight league is facing acute uncertainty since being suspended for an indefinite time after only one-fourth of the total games rolled on the pitch until March 15.
As coronavirus cases are increasing every day, most clubs are almost certain to see the premier league cancelled for the season with examples of impact of Covid-19 pandemic in European leagues to share.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) could barely have maintained a consistent calendar since the introduction of professional league and consequently dealt hard to match the international schedules as well.
The 13th edition of BPL was kicked off 26 days later than the previous season (2018-19), whose BPL fixtures concluded in the first week of August after kicking off in the third week of January, despite initially being set for a six-month schedule, starting from December to May.
The government has decided to extend the suspension of all kind of sports activities across the country for indefinite period to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.https://t.co/rYar4A4Xyy#FOOTBALL #BANGLADESH #BANGLADESHFOOTBALL #BFF #BANGLADESHCRICKET #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #BCB— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) April 4, 2020
Better to call it off earlier would save the clubs financially while dealing with the contracts of the players, especially the foreign recruits, and plan better for the next season, are some of the recommendations from the club representatives.
“Next season’s BPL fixtures could be adjusted with international calendar if it is cancelled earlier. We can also make better plans of the players under contract,” Imrul Hasan, the president of Bashundhara Kings, told to Dhaka Tribune.
“But I’m not thinking about the matter now as there is no clear indication from the BFF yet. I’m more worried about the contracts of my foreign players.”
The BPL clubs sign the local players for season-based contract and hand them advance money at the beginning while the case is not same for the foreign recruits, who usually pen the deal for monthly-base.
According to Imrul, the contract of Colindres, the Costa Rican forward who was adjudged the best player of the BPL last season, runs until June while other four foreign signings to see their contracts end by September-October.
“If the BPL is postponed for at least three months and then resume, some of my foreign players' contracts will end by that time. Should we pay the same wages as it is in the paper if there is no game to play? If not, they may put complaints to FIFA/AFC.”
“We informed this situation to BFF soon after the announcement of the postponement of BPL to seek Fifa/AFC’s guidelines to solve the matter.” added Bashundhara Kings president.
Combined and individually, Bashundhara have the most-paid foreign signings among the 13 clubs with Hernan Barcos and Colindres reportedly being on top two as far as the amount of wage is concerned.
The situation at the other clubs who pay foreign players on monthly basis with low salaries is bit more flexible.
When Barcos earns nearly 20,000US$ per month, it took newly-promoted Uttar Baridhara Club around 17,000 US$ to bear the total cost of their five foreign recruits.
Daniel Colindres is not quite fond of talking to the media but the Costa Rican World Cupper was kind enough to meet some curiosities during his isolated days on a foreign land in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic.https://t.co/4zqzWesTkz#COLINDRES #DANIEL #DANIELCOLINDRES #BFF— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) April 1, 2020
“We signed them for five months until May and there is a clause in the contract that we can terminate them anytime. We already paid them until April 15 and will not continue after that.” said Md Jahangir Alam, the general secretary of Baridhara.
Satyajit Das Rupu, the manager of Abahani Limited, said that they have to make a decision together with the clubs and federation to solve the matter.
“Many things depend on what the BFF decides, whether the league will continue or not,” said Rupu, also a BFF executive member. He added, “The cases of coronavirus are increasing everyday and nobody knows when it will end. The same situation is all over the world.”
When contacted, BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag said, the clubs may come to a mutual agreement with players before FIFA comes to set a directive.
“The clubs can come to a mutual understanding with the foreign players whether they want to pay them partially until FIFA or AFC gives a guideline to dispute the matter.” said Shohag giving example of Barcelona players agreeing 70 percent pay cut last week.
Around 60 foreign players signed for 13 clubs are currently quarantined in Dhaka, either in club tents or in apartments, with the all expenses of foods and accommodation being taken care by the respective clubs.