The clubs with no commercial revenue are finding it hard to pay the wages and ensure safety of foreigners locked in Dhaka
Kazi Nabil Ahmed, the Bangladesh Football Federation vice president, has suggested concluding the remaining fixtures of the Bangladesh Premier League with the local footballers only to reduce extra pressure from the financially struggling clubs from bearing the expenditures of the higher-paid foreign recruits.
A little more than a month has passed since the impending lockdown situation forced all sports to be suspended indefinitely.
As a result, the clubs with no commercial revenue are finding it hard to pay the wages and ensure safety of foreigners locked in Dhaka.
Two clubs officially informed the federation of their unwillingness to continue the league due to poor economic condition and uncertain future before Nabil’s proposal, that aims to keep football on the pitch at any cost but reducing burden from the clubs.
“The main goal of my proposal is to stay in the game as soon as things get normal. It’s an extra pressure for clubs to pay foreigners and ensure safety. The clubs can start thinking of ending contracts with foreign recruits through mutual understanding and conclude the league with only local footballers,” said Nabil.
The local players, especially the forwards, are often overshadowed by the foreigners since the professional league was introduced, and it is impacting the national team performance negatively.
Jamie Day, the Bangladesh head coach, put up a proposal of a three-month Super League at the end of the year if the postponed Bangladesh Premier League doesn’t resume in time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.https://t.co/YrrBt3Uzsv#FOOTBALL #BANGLADESH #BANGLADESHFOOTBALL #BFF #DAY— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) April 21, 2020
Despite that, the BFF increased the foreigners’ quota to five, which saw record number of them signed by the clubs for this season.
“Foreign players’ quota got reduced once after my initiative but it increased following some pressure. I’ll continue my plea to reduce the quota in future because local players are our asset,” added Nabil, also the national team committee chairman.
There are a total of 455 footballers registered by 13 BPL clubs during the opening transfer window, out of which almost all the local players were recruited for the season, while the 64 foreigners, five at each club, from more than 20 countries and five continents were signed on the basis of monthly contracts.
“There are more than 200 local players in the league and we should keep them in the game. When the Covid-19 situation improves and after getting permission from the government, we can resume the rest of the fixtures with local players only,” said Nabil.
“Every player goes through two-week quarantine process before starting training session. A small crowd could be allowed after ensuring safety measurements.”
Arambagh Krira Sangha, a donation-based club, are closing ties with their foreign recruits and asked the BFF to call the league off amid increasing financial catastrophe the club have been facing since their income sources were cut off from casino business at the end of last year.
“If they release foreign players their pressure would be reduced. It’s a good opportunity to try the players of the bench. It will also reduce pressure of the clubs. I shared my proposal with the BFF president (Kazi Salahuddin) and the league committee chairman (Abdus Salam Murshedy). They agreed with me,” said Nabil.
Only six rounds of matches rolled on the pitch before the hit of coronavirus, and 120 games are still to be played.
The clubs are looking to the BFF for a concrete decision regarding the future of the league before reviewing the contracts of the foreign players.
“We don’t know yet when we can start again but we can finalize a guideline so that the clubs are prepared in their own way. There are ways to think about football differently in corona situation. This is my personal thought or proposal,” said Nabil.
The professional league committee called a meeting for Saturday where the proposals would be discussed.