In late January 2018 when the deal was announced with TM, it represented a major coup for MFL to have managed to secure such a large sponsorship that was valued approximately RM480 million over the course of the next eight years until 2026. But just a year into the contract, things have taken a drastic turn for worse.
MFL revealed that they were left without a choice but to terminate the contract due to the failure of TM to fulfill their financial obligations as per the contract. MFL have sent repeated notices to TM informing them of the situation but it seems to have been met with little or no response from the biggest sponsor to MFL.
MFL through their lawyer Faisal Moideen did not discount the possibility that a court action may be taken with TM due to this but that remains only one of the options as of now with MFL looking to have further internal discussions on how best to proceed.
The chairman of MFL HRH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) could not make the meeting of the MFL board members in person but through teleconference backs the decision made by the board as they seek to resolve the matter.
"I've ordered the CEO of MFL to initiate official discussions with interested parties immediately. Before this even with the rumours, we wanted to maintain our relationship with TM and tried to work things out with them. We've approached them plenty of times but we've always met with a dead end.
"So we cannot continue to wait because we have the responsibility to manage the Malaysian League. Honestly I'm disappointed with TM's action and we saw the drastic change in the manner of the contract dealings with MFL starting May of last year.
Selangor v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Super League, 1 Mar 2019" perform:prop="uuid:1wlvnhhso2rd61ibkjlntp0txc;width:1920;height:1080" src="https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/GOAL/9f/e/farizal-marlias-selangor-v-johor-darul-tazim-super-league-1-mar-2019_1liwkmpwbr1me1e6f6kk7z4atj.jpg?t=1012105929" width="100%
"I did not expect TM to be doing such things to the Malaysian football. We know maybe TM or the government has other priorities but they cannot let the number one sport of the country suffer because of this action. This is what happens when sports is politicized.
"We will do our best to keep improving without them because it is the people who owns football. We still have sponsors and investors from other parties with us and there will be new sponsor that will come into the picture, that is a certainty," said TMJ in his press release.
Chief executive officer of MFL Kevin Ramalingam assured that despite the problems with TM affecting the finances, MFL remains positive that they can overcome and resolve the issue. Ampersand Sports and iflix were also present in the meeting and both gave assurances that they remain confident and loyal to their respective contracts despite the cancellation of the biggest sponsor's contract.
In the press conference, MFL also revealed that there have been many enquiries from various companies in terms of wanting to sponsorship to the league but because of the tie-up with TM, haven't been able to pursued. These are the companies that now MFL can start talks with.
As of now, the grants to the respective teams are under threat due to this cancellation of contract. However whether the grant will be reduced or even improved should a new sponsor come in, is still unknown as MFL seek to further clarify on the matter in the coming weeks.
Follow Goal Malaysia on Instagram