Ahly players threaten to strike in protest at pay cuts

Ahram Online, Saturday 13 Jul 2013

Ahly’s disgruntled players go as far as to threaten not to play next week’s crunch Champions League game against rivals Zamalek in protest at looming pay cuts

Ahly players in a training session (Photo: Ahram)

Ahly’s players have threatened to strike after being told by the club administration that they face a pay cut, Ahram’s daily newspaper reported on Saturday.

In a bid to stave off a rare financial crisis for Africa’s most successful club, Ahly’s board told the players they needed to cut their salaries by up to 25 percent.

The Cairo giants posted a LE30 million loss after the Egyptian Premier League was suspended for an indefinite period amid speculation that it might be called off for the second consecutive season due to the ongoing political turmoil.

Ahram said the players, many of whom joined Ahly because of its financial stability in the first place, have rejected any pay cut.

They said they might strike in protest at the club’s decision and went as far as to threaten not to play next week’s crunch African Champions League game against Cairo rivals Zamalek, who are also in a dire financial situation.

Ahly, Egypt’s most professional club, have generally avoided the persistent financial problems which usually blight their competitors, including Zamalek and coastal club Ismaily.

However, the current Egyptian football impasse has taken its toll on the Red Devils, who are deprived of television and sponsorship revenues.

Last season’s Premier League was also cancelled at the halfway stage following the infamous Port Said disaster, which left more than 70 fans Ahly dead on 1 February 2012.

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