JOHOR BARU: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are in a financial crisis.
New president Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has revealed that the national body are RM40mil in the red.
This was, according to him, part of the huge challenges facing him after being returned unopposed as FAM president just 10 days ago.
“On my first day at the FAM office ... to check everything, I got all the files and everybody was coming up to me ... but there was no money,” he said in a meeting with the media yesterday.
“I came to rock and roll ... there’s no money. How am I going to run the league? How am I going to manage the national team?”
Tunku Ismail said that he is the type of leader who solves problems and not worry about them.
“I don’t want to worry about it. I have been working hard in the last 10 days to find sponsors for the second half of the season and for years to come,” he said.
“A company has approached us ... called Zenith. There is another company Astro, Fox Sports and all ...
“The biggest problem in the organisation is finance ... the shortage of RM40mil. That’s the problem I’m facing which the media and fans don’t know about. This is what you people must understand ... my struggles.
“I’m doing my best. The previous exco and secretary general were not comfortable sharing these with you.
“This is a new era ... I will be transparent and be straightforward with the media and the fans to explain the exact situation in FAM. I am going to be very blunt.”
Tunku Ismail, who revealed that he is working hard to get sponsors, stressed the need for teams to focus on grassroots development.
“For example, if we give RM3mil to Super League teams and RM1mil to Premier League teams, the condition is that some of the money must go towards youth development ... and don’t come back to me for more money.
“I’m going to every state to check their accounts. I have every right to check their accounts.
“I’m trying to clean up FAM ... trying to improve the system,” he said, adding that he intends to leave a legacy that will endure and which will serve future FAM presidents well.
“I want to leave a policy which future FAM presidents can follow. I may not be a president for a long time but the policy must stay the same and the result must be consistent and not be a problem to future presidents.”
Tunku Ismail also cited the pilfering of national jerseys, stockings, shorts and jackets as among the problems faced by the new management.
He said that this had forced him to take the items back to Johor Baru.
“Where have the materials gone? This is the challenge for me. (I am) Doing my best ... not finding excuses.”
He also spoke about the need to get the media to be on the same wavelength.
“I want to bring the media on board ... I am very transparent, you can ask me anything,” he said.
“We might have different opinions, but what is important to me is that you understand the goals, the targets ... what I am trying to do.
“As long as you are on board, we will be OK,” he added.