Mohammedan Sporting Club players refrained from their scheduled practice session at the club premises yesterday, allegedly protesting non-payment of wages and contract money. The practice session, which was scheduled for 3:00 pm, was attended by the head coach and his deputies, but none of the players showed up. They were found in their beds, under blankets in the club tent.
“Most of our players got only 40 per cent of the contracted payment, and monthly wages are due too as well. That is why we opted not to attend practice today, even though we had practised in the morning by ourselves,” said one of the player on condition of anonymity,
Head coach Saiful Bari Titu said he was surprised at the absence of the players.
“I don't know why they did not attend practice, although I think it could be due to a lack of understanding between the players and the club officials,” said Titu.
The players claimed that the club officials have assured them of paying their pending wages and dues once they return from a week's leave and resume training on January 16. But after waiting for a few days more they were compelled to take such desperate step.
However, the club's director Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan felt that this incident was part of a bigger conspiracy and that the non-payment was justified under the circumstances.
“Yes, we have withheld one month's salary as there is an investigation going on the club's astonishing 4-1 defeat at Muktijoddha Sangsad on January 5. We served a show cause notice to 14 players who took part in the match,” said Bhuiyan. “The defeat against Muktis was unacceptable. How can a team that beats Sheikh Russel 3-1 lose against Muktijoddha like that? We formed an investigation team to find out the cause of the debacle and we will take a decision about the payment and at the same time whether to take action against players for the loss, once we get the investigation report.”
It may be mentioned here that this is not the first instance of allegations of unpaid wages against the traditional outfit. Last year the Black and Whites' Nigerian coach Emeka Euzego accused the club of not paying huge amounts of salaries, plane fare and bonuses.
The Motijheel outfit are currently lying in fifth position on the league table.