TMJ upset JDT fans are missing in action, hints at stepping down

Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) meteoric rise in Malaysian football has done little to consistently fill Larkin Stadium, prompting a telling off by owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

JDT owner Tunku Ismail blasted the club’s fans for being selective on which matches they attend.

I am very disappointed with the attendance at the stadium ... I’ve become very disheartened

The Malaysian giants, gunning for a third straight league title, had social media campaigns urging fans to be at the stadium on Tuesday, but barely a third of Larkin Stadium was full for the Southern Tigers’ 4-0 win over PDRM in the Malaysia Super League (MSL).

“I am very disappointed with the attendance at the stadium because when we first started building this club together back in 2013, I saw a lot of potential and thought it could generate a lot of income for the club.

“However, when I see the attitude of fans (now) I’ve become very disheartened,” read Tunku Ismail’s statement on JDT’s Facebook page on Wednesday night.

“When I announced the building of a new stadium with a capacity of 35,000, everyone asked why only 35,000 and said that it should be bigger. Tuesday’s attendance didn’t even reach 7,000 fans. This is not the first time it has happened.

I am unsure how much longer I will be with football as I have other agendas, but we will see how it goes

“I have realised this since the beginning of the season and also last year. To those who can’t accept what I am doing, that is your problem, but if you want your club to progress and excel, you need to do your part as fans. Don’t just wait for matches against big teams.”

Tunku Ismail said JDT were in its final stages of implementing an online ticket system and threatened to build a 10,000 capacity stadium if numbers are still low.

The Crown Prince of Johor also hinted that other duties in the state could see him part ways with JDT in the future.

“I am unsure how much longer I will be with football as I have other agendas, but we will see how it goes.

“For now, the fire is still burning within me, but let me see the situation as there are many more things I wish to implement for the state that I love very much.”