JDT in good hands

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim

PETALING JAYA: Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s decision to leave Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) is nothing less than stunning but the club’s diehard supporters took the decision quite well.

The majority of fans believe Tunku Ismail, also known as TMJ, still has the club’s interest at heart and has left the team in good hands.

Tunku Ismail, who is also the Crown Prince of Johor, announced the unexpected decision via the club’s official Facebook page, the Johor Southern Tigers, yesterday.

“Due to my other responsibilities and commitments, I have decided to step down and hand over the day-to-day affairs of the JDT football club to the club’s top management.

“I wish the best for the club and all,” said Tunku Ismail.

JDT are expected to make a statement today reiterating that Tunku Ismail will still remain the owner but will not be active in the daily affairs of the club.

Fans continued to show faith in Tunku Ismail.

“Whatever the decision, TMJ is the owner. JDT will be managed by the best management appointees. Hopefully JDT continue to progress and make Malaysian football famous,” commented Facebook user Hamzan Jali on the Johor Southern Tigers page.

“It is unlikely that it will be managed by top management of the club just like that. Certainly TMJ is behind the scenes to ensure the team continue to move forward,” said another netizen Achik Zam.

Said Mohd Iskandar: “JDT are already a professional club. They can move on their own with the existing plan.

“Maybe there is less excitement when TMJ is less active but what’s important is that the management know the direction of the club.”

Tunku Ismail was the galvanising character in transforming the team from minnows into the giants of the local football scene.

Under his charge, JDT romped to eight consecutive Super League titles since 2014, lifted two Malaysia Cups and one FA Cup.

They are not only the champions on the local turf but also made history by winning the AFC Cup in 2015.

JDT made history recently when they became the first team from Malaysia to qualify for the knockout stage (last 16) of the Asian Champions League (ACL).

A total of 14 out of 30 players who are playing in the national senior side in the ongoing Asian Cup qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur are from JDT.

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