The Bangladesh Football Federation has prepared proposals to resolve outstanding contract issues after local players expressed concerns over their payments for the 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) season, which was voided on May 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 13 BPL clubs settled wages with foreign players in line with the FIFA-prescribed process of reaching mutual understandings, but are yet to settle with 356 registered local players',
A group of five players met BFF president Kazi Salahuddin on June 16 to express their concerns about wages and informed that a number of players wanted to sit with him in a formal meeting and discuss their issues. They also urged him to start the next season as soon as possible as the players have been suffering financially.
BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told The Daily Star yesterday that although they could not take any initiatives immediately following the shutdown, they had prepared some proposals to resolve the matter. He also said that they would ensure representation from all 13 clubs in the meeting with the BFF president to get a clear overview of the situation.
"Some national players have already sought an appointment with the BFF president, who is ready to sit with players. The meeting is likely to take place on Monday," Shohag said, adding that then they will also sit with the club officials to hear their opinions.
"After hearing the opinions of all parties, we will present our proposal to curtail players' wages as the season was not completed. But it is almost certain that will not proportionally cut wages because there is huge difference in the wages of established players and upcoming players," Shohag said.
It has been learnt that the BFF has prepared five slabs of wages from Tk one lakh to above Tk 25 lakh. The players in the first slab will be exempted from any slash in wages.
In a meeting on May 17, most clubs proposed playing with the same squad next season as only 25 per cent of league matches could be completed.
As per FIFA's players' statues and COVID-19 regulations, there is no option to play same players in the new season under the old contracts, which is a one-season agreement.
Since the last meeting of the professional league committee, clubs did not take any initiative to resolve the local players' issue. Instead, they were also looking to the BFF's initiatives for a solution.
A few clubs provided monthly salaries for one or two months during the pandemic, while clubs like Bashundhara Kings have refrained from paying further salaries as they paid up to 90 per cent of the contracts and are now supposed to get money back from players.
A few days ago, national team coach Jamie Day emphasised on the need to resolve the issue before the restart of the World Cup Qualifying campaign, saying: "I am sure it will be on their mind if they have no salary for their families."