Malaysian Players Owned RM1.5 million
Malaysia's improvement as a force in world badminton is coming at a cost to the sport's national governing body
|The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) owes its players around RM1.5 million (approx US$465,000) despite being one of the richest sports association in their country. |
The BAM is committed to paying out bonuses for world rankings, presidential and match bonuses. With players such as Lee Chong Wei and Wong Choong Hann in the world's top 20, and with both enjoying successes on the court, the BAM is struggling to shell out.
The figure is much more than the previous years when bonuses amounted to around RM400,000.
BAM secretary Ganga Rao, however, said his association is doing its best to resolve the issue and make sure the players get what they deserve.
He told the New Straits Times newspaper: "The payment on world ranking, match and presidential bonuses started ballooning last year because of the outstanding results of the players who won a total of 11 titles. This has amounted close to RM1.5 million.
"We used to pay out about RM400,000 previously but the rise in the world ranking of our players was encouraging.
"The sponsors have been fulfilling their obligations but our training and tournament cost, salaries of coaches and allowances of players have also significantly increased.
"We have been working with some new sponsors and we assure that the players will get full payout on all their outstanding amounts before they leave for Jakarta to compete in the Thomas Cup Finals in May.
"The sponsors are coming in but they will only do so after seeing our results and we have to initially bear it."
As world number two singles player, Lee is due RM250,000 while the doubles pairing of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong are owed RM400,000.
The situation has been worsened for the BAM after the National Sports Council slashed player allowances. As a result, the body must top up and, with salaries of coaches also going up, total expenditure on personnel is expected to be close to RM4.5 million this year alone.
The cost of sending players, coaches and managers for the All England and Swiss Open in March comes to around RM300,000.
The Times said BAM receives RM2.5 million from Proton and RM1.3 million from Yonex annually in sponsorship while NSC contributes about RM2.5 million for the elite programme.
They also receive RM1.2 million a year by renting out its premises in Taman Maluri to a school.
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