SHANGHAI, May 17 – Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan, a two-time Olympic champion, has accused his super league club of failing to pay him and six others for the 2016-2017 season. Regarded by some as badminton’s greatest ever player, Lin said he felt “bitterly disappointed” and threatened to take legal action after not getting paid by Guangzhou Yueyu badminton club. He said the players worked the whole season to keep the club, which signed him last year, from being relegated despite not getting their wages.
“Our understanding towards the club has been met with repeated delay. We have communicated with the club many times about salary payment; however, the club’s attitude in solving this has made people helpless and disappointed. We did not hold anything back when we were fighting for the club’s honour. Please don’t let our sweat go to waste,” the 33-year-old wrote to his 3.6 million followers on the Twitter-like Weibo microblogging website.
Another six of the club’s players all posted the same statement on their Weibo accounts. Guangzhou Yueyu were ranked seventh in the eight-team super league’s 2016-2017 season, down from fifth in the previous season. Lin Dan’s wages for the season, which ended in February, were four million yuan (US$583,000), the state-run Guangzhou Daily reported.
According to the newspaper, team chairman Gao Jun, who is also the head coach, said the club has also failed to pay the coaching team and the rest of the Chinese players. Gao said the club has turned its operation rights to a separate firm run by the club’s manager Fu Xun. “It’s not very good that we didn’t give (salaries) for so long. But we are not avoiding this problem either,” news portal Tencent sports quoted Fu Xun as saying. The club could not immediately be reached for comment. — AFP