FAM in the red to the tune of RM40 million

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JOHOR BAHRU: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is in a major financial crisis, said newly elected president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Tunku Ismail, popularly known as TMJ (Tunku Mahkota of Johor), said FAM’s financial situation could hamper his efforts to carry out the development programmes or changes that the fans and the people wanted.

“On the first day, I entered the FAM (office) in my official capacity as president, oozing with confidence and ideas, ready to rock and roll.

“So, I started checking everything. I got all the files. (But) I got everybody coming up to me (saying)… FAM has no money.

“You know how much shortage? RM40 million. There’s no money in FAM.

“How am I going to run the league? How am I going to look after the national team? How to change a new coach, buy equipment?

“Of course, no one has answers. It’s okay, I don’t want to worry about it.

“I want to move forward,” he told about 40 media practitioners comprising chief editors and sports editors at Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim here today.

TMJ said due to the lack of funds, he had to take proactive measures, including terminating the services of 20 staff, although he had no intention to “throw sand into people’s rice bowl” as claimed by some on social media.

“Everyone, including the fans need to know what we can do and what we cannot do. We have to be realistic.

“So, to restructure the organisation, we need not pay staff who are not productive because we don’t want to waste FAM’s money.

“My main focus is to protect the money and assets that belong to FAM, therefore 20 staff have been terminated. The media has to understand and highlight the positive things.

“I am not throwing sand into people’s rice bowl. That is not my intention. I think the first priority should be given to the association,” he said.

He said FAM was in discussions with prospective sponsors like Zenith and Fox Sport.

“I am working hard to find sponsors for the mid-season activities this year, next year and in the years to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, TMJ also chided state football associations and clubs that spent exorbitant amounts on importing players.

“I have given ideas to restructure their financial status. We will see during the second window for registration of players. I want to rescue them from unrecognised player agents,” he said.