Coronavirus: Red Giants bracing for impact on finances and plans
BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
For a club whose rebuilding process is dependent on financial support from sponsors and the state government, Selangor are bracing for the worst possible outcomes of the global coronavirus outbreak and competitions suspension.
In a telephone conversation with Goal on Tuesday, association secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon admitted that the Red Giants may be in for a tough time, due to the effects of Covid-19 on businesses in the country and across the world.
“Our budget had been secured for the whole year already. I think we are okay, but you never know. Our cash flow may be interrupted because of sponsors’ withdrawal due to the slowing down of the economy. We are a bit concerned as well, especially since cash has not been coming in [due to halt in ticket and merchandise sales]. Even if it (sponsorship fund) comes in, it’s not the full amount, it’s 10 per cent, 20 per cent, overtime.
“That’s the concern that we have, but there’s not much that we can do because it’s out of our control. The club has not discussed it in detail, but I’m sure we will have to do it soon,” said the former student association representative.
More alarmingly, while Johan admitted that they have no back-up funds should the worst happen, when asked about the possibility of procuring safety funds from the state government should their sponsors pull out, Johan ruled out this measure.
According to him, the Selangor state government is already providing 80 per cent of the club’s budget this season.
“The state is committing their financial resources towards the coronavirus management effort. And even then the situation may get worse and they may think that this (football) is not a priority, saying that ‘Sorry, we won’t be able to provide you with everything that we promised’.
“This can happen and we can’t do anything about it, but this is a worst-case scenario of course,” noted Johan.
The outbreak too has been impacting the club’s rebuilding process, not only in terms of the required funds, but also in terms of the progress timelines, he revealed.
However, their planned privatisation initiative is not affected, with Johan saying that 80 percent of the necessary steps have been taken, while the remaining work to be done is just documentation.
“All the timelines are not being met!” he said with a chuckle. “Nothing can be done, all work has ground to a halt, so yes, our plans for this year have been impacted and we’ll only know how bad it actually is in a few weeks’ time, when the league is resumed.”
Follow Goal Malaysia’ s Instagram account!