PETALING JAYA: One was a multi-million ringgit side, the other the paupers of the M-League. Yet, both Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) and Penang NTFA look likely to opt out from the Malaysian Super League (MSL) next season because of financial problems.
Both have failed to confirm their participation when the deadline passed on July 31.
Former MPPJ president Datuk Ahmad Termizi Puteh, now the Petaling Jaya city mayor, said they had yet to make a decision on the matter.
“We have got to look for sponsors and at the moment we cannot commit ourselves,” he said yesterday.
The FAM competitions committee chairman Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar said he could not confirm whether the teams' are pulling out.
“We will meet soon to deliberate on the matter,” said Raja Ahmad
He said the same rule would apply to any teams who pulled out – they will be fined and suspended.
Raja Ahmad, however, hoped that they would not be any more withdrawals.
“Any withdrawals would upset our plans. In fact, all the teams have been told of their responsibilities and commitments ... the risks and financial obligations,” he said.
He said they have already planned for an expanded 14-team Super League and 14-team Premier League next season.
Meanwhile, MPPJ, the 2003 Malaysia Cup champions are in financial difficulties.
They have yet to settle player’s salaries for between two and three months. On Friday, ace striker Juan Manuel Arostegui left for Chile 24 hours before the first-leg of the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals against Malacca Telekom. MPPJ lost the first-leg 0-3.
The Perlis FA are also seeking RM60,000 in unpaid transfer fees for two of their former players – Yusri Che Lah and Kaironissam Sahabuddin.
NTFA, the unfashionable club side who came into the Premier League as the 2004 FAM Cup champions, are also expected to throw in the towel after two seasons due to cash flow problems. After staving off relegation in their first season, NTFA finished at the bottom of Group A in the just-concluded season.
Their stay in the Premier League had been plagued by financial trouble, with several players lodging complaints to the FAM against late and non-payments of salaries.