FOLLOWING the emergency appeal for sponsorship by Cambodian Premier League (CPL) club Spark FC's last month, other clubs have also revealed a desperate need for funds to continue their campaigns. With the CPL due to recommence its schedule this Saturday after a week's break, many teams are looking to reduce their running costs to guarantee survival in the top flight while frantically seeking new sponsors amidst the tough economic climate.
A source close to Post Tel club, who claimed anonymity, revealed that the management held a crisis meeting with players this week to announce their decision to cut salaries of the players by 50 percent. Players have expressed their bitterness at the decision, especially foreigners who are concerned whether their reduced pay will be enough to live off.
The signing of former Kirivong Sok Sen Chey midfielder Amara Onyeahiri is in jeopardy, unless the Nigerian is ready to accept the lower wage.
Spark FC, whose manager Vann Dara warned his club may be disbanded if help is not found imminently, has come under sharp criticism from one of its players, who refused to be named. "They are not paying me what they agreed to pay me," said the player. "I have had to collect only half the amount [stated] in my contract."
"We cannot continue to give our best with [an] empty stomach," the player retorted.
Meanwhile, Post Tel's relegation zone companions Phouchung Neak have yet to come to a conclusion over which players to sign during the transfer window. After two local players have transferred to richer opposition, more are rumoured to be jumping ship in the near future.
Seven foreigners are presently training with the team, with only one possible place up for grabs unless some of the old players are shown the way out. With funds running out fast, a mass exodus seems destined unless the club can attract new sponsors.
As the league enters its crucial second half, one hopes that the likes of Spark, Phouchung Neak and Post Tel can gain sponsorship soon to maintain their competitiveness with the financial powerhouses of Naga Corp, Phnom Penh Crown, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey and Build Bright United.