With Happy Valley suspended, players are unlikely to be paid

Ban on First Division club for rest of the season leaves footballers in limbo

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 12:51am

Happy Valley players are in limbo after their club was suspended for the rest of the season.

Although the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) warned the club to honour their contracts with the players when it made its decision last week, the players don't believe they will still get their salaries under the current situation.

"I was told the salary for this month will be fine, but not for next month," said midfielder Ricky Li Chun-yip on Friday. "We are paid to play soccer for the club, but if there are no more games for the rest of the season, do you think they will still pay us?"

Another midfielder, Wilfred Bamnjo said the suspension of his club was a bad decision.

If there are no more games for the rest of the season, do you think they will still pay us?
Ricky Li

"It is the players that now suffer," said the expatriate. "They can take sanctions against Happy Valley such as deducting league points or fining them if they think the club has done something wrong, but not ban the club. Happy Valley now have a good case for not paying the players because we don't play."

Bamnjo said one of his teammates had tried to seek assistance from the HKFA, but had got the cold shoulder. "An official said he can go to another country to play or look for another job. They simply don't care about the players," he said.

Defender Chan Charm-hei said he had sought help from lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, a soccer fanatic.

"I passed on some information to him and he has agreed to look into it," said Chan. "A professional player relies on winning bonuses and appearance fees but there is nothing now."

The HKFA said it wrote to Happy Valley yesterday to provide detailed reasons for its decision and explain its position in relation to Valley's contracted players.