The Football Association of Maldives (FAM) President Bassam Adeel Jaleel has chosen not to disclose the salary of the newly appointed technical director, Paul Thomas Smalley, sparking controversy and raising questions about transparency in the organisation.

Smalley, a seasoned football veteran from England who previously held the role of Bangladesh’s technical director, landed a five-year deal in his new position. His decision to resign from the Bangladesh FA with one year remaining on his contract came after the FA refused to meet his salary demands according to reliable news sources, although Smalley himself has firmly denied these allegations.

When questioned about the salary matter, Bassam cited sponsorship from the Qatari FA as the reason behind keeping the details confidential.

According to inside sources, Smalley had inked a separate agreement with the Qatari FA, which also allows him to also work in the Maldives. When pressed about the speculated monthly salary of US$25,000, Bassam neither confirmed nor denied the figure, merely stating that it was lower than that amount.

“We’ve had discussions with the Qatar Federation that do not permit us to share the exact figure. So, we prefer to keep it undisclosed,” stated Bassam.

In contrast, it was revealed that Smalley had been receiving a monthly salary of US$15,000 from the Bangladesh FA. However, Bassam stressed that the new technical director’s salary would now be covered by the Qatari FA, relieving financial pressure on FAM.

Addressing the controversy, Smalley, who officially took up his position in the Maldives, declared that money was not his primary motivation. He explained that he chose the Maldives opportunity because he believed in the potential of the country’s football program more than that of Bangladesh.

Smalley praised the football facilities and the talent of Maldivian players, stating that the opportunities in the Maldives are far greater compared to Bangladesh.