The Crown Prince of Johor turned to social media site Facebook to explain to fans his decision to cut Singapore international Baihakki Khaizan from the first team
Amongst the biggest changes made was the decision to cut Singapore international Baihakki Khaizan from the first team, which the player himself announced on Saturday.
Baihakki revealed on his personal Instagram page that he will be rested for the remaining games of the season and will return to play for JDT II next year, drawing strong response from his supporters.
Fans have taken to protest on the decision, blaming Shebby Singh, who was recently named the team observer, for Baihakki's removal from the team.
But an official statement was made by the club in its official statement denying Shebby's involvement.
"With regards to Shebby's (Serbegeth Singh) issue that is often being referred to as 'the individual behind the scene', his task is actually related to the Youth Football Academy, which trains young talents from 8 years old to 16 years old," it read. "He is definitely not involved in any decisions made by the JFA's management."
In his address to the official Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, Tunku Ismail, who is also the Crown Prince of Johor, explained the rationale for taking Baihakki out of the team.
“The decision to change Baihakki and Pablo Aimar was actually a decision made by Cesar and I when he was still Head Coach of JDT,” Tunku Ismail said in the post.
“Baihakki is a phenomenal defender. However, for us to compete with foreign strikers from opposing teams, we need a defender with vast international experience. Cesar suggested that we needed a defender with greater physical ability.”
“With regards to constant change in foreign players, the Management must respect the requests made by the Coach. For example, should the coach needs a striker/midfielder/defender, it is the Management's duty to support the coach's request in order for the team to achieve its target.”
JDT are currently third in the Malaysia Super League, three points behind leaders Pahang FA after 14 games.