Pay players on time or lose points, Brazil tells clubs
10 March 2015, 12:35
Sao Paulo - Brazilian clubs who fail to pay their players on time could be docked points under a Labour Fair Play system announced by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) on Monday.
The measure will come into effect in the top three divisions this season and is aimed at stopping a practice that sees even the richest clubs in the country routinely paying players months behind schedule.
Already this year, players from clubs such as Santos and Sao Paulo have publicly complained that their teams owed them salaries and bonuses.
"The wish of all parties is that the clubs pay on time and there is no need for punishment," CBF Finance Director Rogerio Caboclo said.
"If there are few or no condemnations it does not mean that Labour Fair Play hasn't worked. Payment on time is the real success of the law.
"No one wants to see clubs relegated or kicked out of competitions because of things that happen off the park."
The measure follows a similar one passed by the Paulista Football Federation in Sao Paulo state and which has been in operation since 2012.
Several players had made formal complaints and were eventually paid their wages by clubs who feared losing points, the CBF said.
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However, the numbers were low give the magnitude of the problem and the initiative was met with scepticism by Brazil's biggest players' group.
Pedro Daniel, a consultant for Common Sense FC, a union of more than 1,000 players, said even though the idea was positive there were many reasons to believe it would not have a transformative effect.
"It's a step forward as it shows they recognise there is a problem but I don't think it will help," Daniel said.
"Imagine Paolo Guerrero of Corinthians doesn't receive his salary and he reports the club. If Corinthians lose points he'll never be able to set foot outside his house again. And remember, he'd be the victim."
The CBF announcement comes as parliament debates how to help Brazil's indebted clubs avoid bankruptcy.
The country's top 23 sides are in debt for a collective 3.72 billion Brazilian reais ($1.19 billion), almost half of that in taxes owed to the government, according to a study by Itau BBA, a local investment bank.