Malaysia's soccer clubs will next season be ordered to pay deposits of millions of ringgit before they can compete to ensure players receive their wages, the Malaysian Football Association (FAM) has said.
Ten clubs in the 14-strong M-League are in the red while three teams face sanctions for failing to settle players' wages, local media reported on Monday.
Just four months ago the FAM warned all teams they could face expulsion from Malaysia's top flight if they failed to pay players on time.
"A warning letter will be sent to the teams concerned and we hope that they will settle the amount before the new M-League registration deadline next month (November 23), failing which we may have to take action against them," local media quoted FAM vice president Hamidin Mohd Amin as telling a news conference.
"We are making a stand on this issue ... we will deduct the amount owed from their prize money, incentives, deposits and gate collections to settle the outstanding amount."
From next season top flight clubs must pay a deposit of 3 million Malaysian ringgit, second tier clubs 2 million and third-level clubs 500,000 ringgit before they can compete.
(Writing by Ossian Shine in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford)