Players object to $2500 basic wage deal
Pro League champion club North East Stars were thrown into turmoil after more than 80 percent of its players and staff could not agree with the direction the club is heading under the new management team being led by businessman Ryan Nunes and Michael Awai, the former FUTGOF manager.
Yesterday, coach Derek King confirmed his exit from the team after venting his disgust in the team's decision to implement a basic wage deal of between $2500 to $3000 monthly salary payment for all players. The management also decided that the team should field an under-21 team for the 2018/19 pro league season.
King has been followed by ten players Elton John, Yohance Marshall, Julius James, Rundell Winchester, Densill Theobald, Akeem Garcia, Kevin Goddard, Kerry Baptiste, Jevon Neptune, Akile Clarke and equipment manager Selwyn Gabriel.
Some players have already signed deals with Central FC which has advanced to the final phase of the CONCACAF Caribbean Champions League, while others secured contracts with other international clubs.
King who guided the team to victory last year after winning 12 matches, losing two and drawing four, has described the package as madness and questioned the logic in paying all players a fixed amount, despite their experience and ability.
King, who commanded a salary of $8,000 a month because of his experience, was one of the highest paid in the club. But when contacted Awai said the club's business model does not cater to pay players exorbitant amounts as it did not make proper business sense in the current economic environment.
In addition to challenges to receive pro league earnings, the club will be unable to sustain itself financially if it paid large salaries. The club's business model entails developing and paying players basic wages and selling them to international clubs.
"This is the only way we can sustain ourselves," Awai explained. The clubs was scheduled to begin negotiations on new deals on February 1 after the contracts of all the players came to an end in December last year. And Awai made it clear they will not be able to afford the players although they would like to have them.
Most of the players even though they may command a larger salary than the base being offered will still not meet the age requirement of being under 20.
Awai questioned why players could not play for a basic salary when the club's earnings were minimal. "What's wrong with playing for a decent amount until they get the opportunity to earn huge amounts at an international club," Awai asked.
The club forks out approximately $1 million to fund the team in the pro league for the year, but now the Sangre Grande club will require an additional amount to ensure the team participates in the Caribbean Club Championship next year.
Only recently the club had to default all its matches in the Flow Youth Pro League in the under-14, 16 and 18 categories as it was not properly registered.