BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) looks forward to working with the new Malaysian FA leadership, following the conclusion of the Malaysian FA's 53rd congress on Saturday.
In the elections, Johor Darul Ta'zim FC (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim won the Malaysian FA (FAM) presidential post unopposed, following the last-minute withdrawal of the other presidential candidate, former Kelantan FA chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
In a telephone conversation with Goal on Monday, the CEO of PFAM Izham Ismail told us that the organisation is chiefly excited about Tunku Ismail's solution to the issue of clubs' failure to pay player salaries promptly.
"For the players, it's a good news for FAM to have a leader who understands the fans, the plight and all the problems that the players have been facing for the last few decades.
"...It's very refreshing to have a (FAM) president who understands and has made a commitment to change all this.
"He has talked about the distribution of image rights to the teams, (which is) contingent to the teams' payment of salaries or due payables to the players, and (for the clubs) to have a solid player development plan and an academy.
"That is the commitment made by the new president and for PFAM, we think that this kind of commitment is needed and we look forward to working with a more professional FAM," revealed Izham.
The PFAM CEO also addressed the issue of a possible conflict of interest between the two associations, as Tunku Ismail is also currently the patron of PFAM, a position he has held since November 2014.
Izham Ismail. Photo from Sinar Harian
"As of today Tunku Ismail is still our patron, but we are still seeing his future as the patron, as we think he has a bigger role to play at FAM.
"We are going to discuss his role with PFAM in the near future. There has been no formal discussions yet as the elections were just over, and we want to give Tunku Ismail some time to think and deliberate on this matter," he explained.
Goal also asked Izham about the possibility of him or any of PFAM members holding position in the FAM, in the future. Just before the elections, rumours had gone around saying that he would be appointed by Tunku Ismail to replace Dato' Hamidin Amin as the FAM secretary-general.
The rumours were then proven to be false, when the Crown Prince of Johor opted to have Hamidin continue in his role, at least for the time being
The law practitioner responded to the question with a bashful laughter, before simply stating that his work at PFAM is not done yet.
"Obviously I have more things and mission left at PFAM, especially in changing the mindset of the players, enhancing the professionalism of professional Malaysian players.
"And there are so many issues, unpaid salaries are still happening, contracts are still unfair, the dispute resolution system still needs improvements.
"Until all of this has been rectified, I think it's too early to talk about the future of my career," he explained.