As the contract renewal of Tunisia's midfielder Ferjani Sassi has been stalling over financial details, Zamalek's fans have launched an initiative on social media to raise funds to finance a new deal.
Sassi, who became a fan favourite since his arrival in summer, will see his contract expire in the summer and the board has not been able to meet his financial demands for a new contract.
The player, who will turn 29 in March, was earning a reported fee of $2 million per season during the incumbent deal and was hoping for a raise, seeing that he is shortlisted by several clubs in the region.
The interim board, which took charge following the dismissal of chairman Mortada Mansour last November over violations, made it public that they have been struggling to reach an agreement due to these demands despite the numerous rounds of talks.
Zamalek fans launched a campaign to finance the deal by selling the player’s jersey.
Zamalek officials praised the loyal fans’ initiative and wished it can be applied in reality.
“The initiative to put up Sassi's shirt for purchase is a wonderful community participation that shows how the fans who love the club have sense and are aware of what the club is going through financially,” Zamalek’s Executive Committee member Hussein El-Semari wrote on his official Facebook account.
Meanwhile, the deputy of the committee in charge of managing Zamalek, Hesham Ibrahim, told local media that renewing the player contracts is just a matter of time, assuring that the Tunisian desires to stay with the Whites.
“Within a day or two, the seizure will be lifted from the club's balances, and any debts owed to the state must be repaid, but the crisis is a result of forced situations we are going through,” Said Ibrahim.
Sassi has been a key player for the Whites, dictating play in midfield and showing immense awareness in orchestrating the flow of the game.
Portuguese coach Jaime Pacheco has kept him on the bench recently, fearing that he would be distracted by current events. However, he made his presence felt when it mattered most, as he scored a sublime winner against Ismaily on Wednesday 2-1 in the dying minutes of the game just a few minutes after his introduction.
He was a main pillar that brought to the White Knights long-awaited continental titles such as the 2019 CAF Confederation Cup and the 2020 CAF Super Cup.
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