JDT-JDT II ‘surprise’ feeder club arrangement dents FMLLP’s credibility

An eleventh-hour announcement of a feeder club agreement between Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and JDT II, allowing the clubs to swap players outside the transfer window, does Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership’s (FMLLP) image no favours.

The feeder club agreement with FMLLP was signed on August 16 but until late on Friday, football followers in the country had no inkling that such thing existed.

Even the press were caught by surprise when receiving a press release after 8pm, announcing the details of it and that JDT II’s Gabriel Guerra was being promoted to JDT in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) while Jeronimo Barrales went the other way to the Malaysia Premier League (MPL). 

Even the press were caught by surprise when receiving a press release after 8pm, announcing the details of it and that JDT II’s Gabriel Guerra was being promoted to JDT in the MSL while Jeronimo Barrales went the other way to the MPL.

In all fairness to JDT, the club have been saying for months that it will be allowed to rotate players between the two teams, but it was brushed aside by many as FMLLP had in 2016 denied that the feeder club regulations were already in place.

“The regulations have not yet been endorsed by the board,” replied FMLLP chief executive officer Kevin Ramalingam when FourFourTwo enquired in November.

So how does FMLLP sign an agreement with JDT when the regulations were not put into place until months later?

Technically there is no such thing as a feeder club until the FMLLP board had given its approval. When exactly the board did so is still vague.

The announcement on Friday also revealed other terms of the agreement. JDT are allowed a maximum of four transfers outside the transfer window in a season and three of which must be local players.

Guerra started for JDT in Saturday night's 0-0 draw against Selangor

Guerra started for JDT in Saturday night's 0-0 draw against Selangor

JDT II, who will not be able to be promoted to the MSL, will need to have at least 12 under-23 players in their squad and starting next year, four of them must start matches.

JDT II will also not be allowed to compete in the FA Cup, Malaysia Cup or any competition that JDT are involved in starting 2018. Both teams could, however, meet in this year’s Cup competitions.

Another question to ponder on is why some terms only apply in 2018. 

FMLLP are already facing criticism from many quarters for all sorts of reasons– including JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim – and the sooner they come up with answers, the better.

*FMLLP had not responded to queries at time of writing

Photos: Asiana.my