JOHOR BARU: Johor FA president Tan Sri Mohd Ali Hashim has taken it upon himself to clear the association's mounting debts, which has hit a staggering RM13.6 million as at Dec 31 last year.
And with the dwindling crowd coming to watch Johor play at the Larkin Stadium, Mohd Ali, who is also the chairman of the Johor Corporation, expects the debts to rise by about RM2 million each year.
Johor have been playing in Premier II since last year. The team, coached by German Karl Heinz Weigang, are now second in the league and they should make the playoffs for next year's Super League.
Mohd Ali was returned unopposed as president for the 2003-2006 term at the FA's Congress at Menara Johor Corporation here yesterday.
Former vice-president I, Esa Mamek was elected deputy president to replace the late Datuk Mohd Noh Jaffar, who died in a road accident last year.
Muar District Officer Datuk Omar Awab is the vice-president I while his counterpart from Segamat Malik Awang is the vice-president II.
Johor Corporation took over the administration of the FA in 1997 and advanced funds for their rehabilitation process.
“Johor Corp is not in the business of running football and I don't want to be at the helm forever. During my tenure for the 2003-2006 session, my main priority is to clear all the debts,” said Mohd Ali.
“We are not going to wait a second longer. I expect the debt to rise RM2 million annually but I am confident we will be able to settle them all.”
Mohd Ali is hoping for the green light to redevelop state land where the Larkin Stadium stands to generate funds.
“It is not going to be so soon but we are positive of turning the Larkin Stadium into a commercial hub. It is a prime land and we are confident that it will bring in revenue for the FA.”