THE future of Hongkong First Division club Michelotti is in doubt because of financial difficulties. Michelotti, who are in their second season in the league and stand second in the table, have fallen behind in paying the players their wages. But the management have informed the players that they intend to stick it out until the end of the season in the hope of finding a new backer. The club's Italian sponsors, Michelotti, manufacture watches and sports goods. The team finished eighth of 10 in the top flight in their first season in local football and went into this season with a budget of around $4.5 million - half the amount of the league's biggest spenders, Ernest Borel. But problems for the company, as well as secondary sponsors Stunt, have meant a delay in the monthly payment of wages. The uncertainty behind the scenes, however, has not prevented Michelotti climbing to second in the table with 15 points from eight matches, only one of which has been lost. Michelotti play their next league game on Saturday, when they meet in-form Sing Tao at Shamshuipo Sports Ground. Another club with problems - but on the field rather than off it - are Borel, whose massive $9 million budget is about to be increased for one last throw of the dice in a bid to turn around a poor season. Borel have lost their last four league and cup games and stand only one place above the relegation zone, with their next match on Friday against unbeaten leaders Eastern. Rumours are rife that the company will pull the plug if Borel fail to land a trophy this season but club chairman Thomas Tang Kwok-wah denied this was the case. ''Although everyone is disappointed with how things have gone, we said when we came into the league in 1990 that it would be a five-year run and we would review the situation then,'' said Tang. ''We are now in the third season and there has been no change of mind about the future. ''In fact we are prepared to increase the original budget of $9 million and sign one, possibly two new overseas players from England to defend the Viceroy Cup and FA Cup. ''It's like last season in that we did not start getting good results until the later part of the season. No-one is giving up and I hope things can change. ''I have to admit that we are a bit disappointed so far, not just with the results but also with the attitude of the team. Some players want to train hard but others don't and when this happens it makes for a bad atmosphere, not like last season.'' Borel have stepped up their search for new players and have had an approach to Wimbledon for their former Coventry City and Manchester United striker, Terry Gibson, turned down by Dons boss Joe Kinnear. Borel's former goalkeeper, Perry Suckling, is staying with Watford but midfielder Tony Henry, who trained with Borel pre-season, is still negotiating with team manager Tsui Kwok-on over a possible return. Tang said they would keep all their overseas players until the end of the season because they were under contract and because the club needed cover for injuries.