Player power, demanding boss led to Fandi's fall from grace
- Owner power: Prince calls the shots, selects the team
- Player power: Well-paid squad resented any scoldings
A deadly combination of player power and an overly demanding boss has led to Fandi Ahmad's downfall at Johor Darul Takzim.
While a gag order has been imposed by club president Tunku Ismail Idris, 29, who is also the state's crown prince, sources The Straits Times spoke to all said the same thing - that the Singapore football legend was ousted from his head-coach post by a toxic dressing-room atmosphere and the prince's eagerness to see instant results.
Having signed seven Malaysian internationals, including midfielder and national skipper Safiq Rahim and star striker Safee Sali, Fandi, 51, had great difficulty managing some of the players who came with big egos.
Players reported for pre-season unfit and refused to put in extra training.
The prince controls the team. He decides who to sign and picks the line-up. Nobody has the audacity to question him. When Johor lose, the prince gets upset.
- A reporter source
If players were not performing, he (Fandi) told them. If he needed to yell at them, he would. But the so-called 'stars' in the team would not tolerate that.
- A source