Last month chronicled a spat between Tunku Mahkota Johor, Tunku Ismail Idris Sultan Ibrahim and former National Football Development Programme (NFDP) director, Lim Teong Kim. The heart of the issue? Lim’s demand for a high salary. As it turns out, the issue isn’t over yet.
Recently, the former coach took the opportunity to clarify his side of the story during an interview with Harimau Malaya. Aside from explaining why he felt his demands were reasonable, Lim indirectly called TMJ out, claiming he had been “unprofessional”.
At the end of last month, the Johor Prince claimed that Lim had demanded a high salary and was adamant about not meeting his terms. TMJ had supposedly told Lim to “do it with a salary of RM20,000 to RM30,000 a month“. Although a month late, Lim has finally decided to address the crux of the matter.
According to Lim, TMJ’s statement had indicated the Johor Prince did not appreciate his 12-years wealth of experience gained during his time on the European football scene. Lim felt his request was reasonable, for his situation. “If I’m staying In Malaysia, I would say okay. But I’m living in (Germany) (where) the standard of living is high,” he said. “You (TMJ) are asking me to leave my wife, my kids for (Malaysia) for RM20,000, RM30,000. Do you know how much that is in euro? It’s 5,000 to 6000 euro!”
U think im monkey?! U tak hargai ilmu saya! Sanggup pula bayar pemain eropah mahal
– Lim Teong Kim
Temubual eksklusif bersama Lim Teong Kim berkenaan prestasi pasukan u23 negara di kejohanan AFF baru ini.
— Harimau Malaya (@harimaumalaya7) February 23, 2022
“This is peanuts!” Lim exclaimed. “You pay me peanuts, you think I am (a) monkey?” He went on to say that TMJ did not appreciate his experience, but was willing to pay thousands and millions for European players. “I worked for Bayern Munich for 12 years,” Lim pointed out. “Not some (insignificant) club. I worked with players who won the World Cup and now play for Real Madrid, Alaba and Kroos.”
In addition to feeling slighted over his pay negotiations, the 58-year-old coach made it clear he wasn’t impressed with TMJ’s professionalism. Lim felt that him not getting hired wasn’t an issue. “I understand this is business and professionalism,” he stated. However, he was not happy that what they had discussed had been released to the public. “Professionalism is when I talk to you (about) business, nothing comes out in the press. Nothing,” he emphasised. “This is professionalism.”
As a final blow, Lim bluntly stated that he would not work for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for as long as the FAM president is around. “I will only work for someone who has integrity (and respect),” he said.
Well, the former coach certainly knows his worth, or at least, is sure of it. TMJ has yet to respond, but it’s likely that he will soon. Until then, keep tabs on this drama because we doubt it’s over!
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