The problem with Malaysian football is YOU!

SHOTS have been fired, knives have been sharpen, comments have been written, mics have been dropped and most importantly this article has been published but do YOU actually know what is in FAM's Club Licensing criteria ?

Before you answer that, let me ask you what do you think is the problem with Malaysian football? Development ? Infrastructure ? Legal ? Media ? Money??

Whatever your answers it is likely is the cause for the one big reason, YOU!

Yes, the problem with Malaysian football is YOU!

YOU are not happy!! And YOU, my brothers and sisters is what this is all about, this is YOUR country, your game and the current state is simply not good enough and YOU have every right to be upset!

Since 2015, FAM and FMLLP embarked in this worldwide FIFA project, now the Malaysian football's club licensing it is on the verge of taking shape.

After studying the cause and reasons for FIFA to implement this to all clubs from all confederations from all continents, it is safe to say nothing is going to improve here when it kicks in next season.

If you don't have a copy of the document in your bag at all times, let me dumb it down for you. Six (6) criteria needs to be met for the license to be issued. They are Sporting, Infrastructure, Administration, Legal, Financial and Business. The very same words can give you an in-depth detailed explanation of each point.

Each criteria then comes with a grading which is an A, B or C in which A is a mandatory, B not so but still important and C is as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike.
Take note C could be an A or B
There is nothing highlighting the welfare of fans, who make the majority of the game, who is the ones that come to watch, who are the ones that read the stories about the clubs and players, who are the ones who idolises the stars, who are the ultra-ones that come and pledge their allegiance and support like non other and who contribute a portion of club revenue if not coming from the government, among others.

In the 100 page over document there was one sentence that may cover 'fan engagement' which was graded C.
C for fans, volunteers, grassroots, community events, branding, merchandising, sponsors and partners market base creation. 

I repeat, not one focusses on the fans, again which is you and me.

I would say that the guardians of the league have entirely put the professionalisation of clubs, in which, the hope of commercially developing the game as well, in the edited version of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Club Licensing dossier without prioritising the local domestic fans get the best outcome.

This is entirely because the organisation which was created to govern the league and commercial value, has achieve more failures than success in recent time, was not designed to develop the league but to keep glorified excel spreadsheets of five different competitions (possibly more in the future), organise events, print signboards and focus on promoting professional football in Malaysia through broadcasts and other media outlets. As you can read in last sentence they have not been very successful.

So if it's not stressed in the licensing criteria, not the responsibility of Football Malaysia and not directly set up in any of the long list of committees in FAM, the responsibility of taking care of a fan's welfare has been hand-balled to the clubs.

Personally, I don’t think that’s fair for the clubs, who majority of them are state FAs who have an old school thinking in their management of the modern game but desperately needing fresh ideas to take on the welfare and generate more fans into the game. This should be the job of the governing body.

No, not the job of spoon feeding the clubs to help the fan, but to provide assistance and training to groom them. However, what do you expect from an organisation when it’s head is not well experience in the matters of handling a league other than getting told what to do from others.

Of course, Johor Darul Ta'zim is one club who has surged to the top of its class thanks to the focus and funds it had injected and obviously it had not gone to waste as it has churned out results to show for and be proud of.

But they too, during the season, from time to time cry out for help to their fans when attendance are not satisfactory. And this is a team who has completely upgraded their stadium, their training grounds, and their coaching staff to be something to be proud of for all Malaysians, although you may not want to admit it now.

It is time to rise and demand you, the game's fan, the eyeball, the ticket buyers, the supporters, the crowd, the bum-on-seat to get treated with more professionalism and respect.

A proper scheduled season, coordination between clubs and national teams, an open long term plan on the future of the Malaysian football and constant update on its progress, well organised and highly focused grassroots structure and higher standard game-day experience, live TV broadcast are just some of the things we should be entitled too. After the basics are done, then lets talk about a clean stadium, clean toilets, a nutritious meal at the stadium since matches are played late and the ever so important ease of purchasing a ticket online.

The only thing we have seen grow for the past 10 years or so are the emergence of the Ultras. Although, it is a lovely touch and part of the game, it does not touch and reach the other vast demographics especially generations who used to follow the local league until the cable TV brought world class football leagues to our homes.

The sense of state patriotism is best seen through football teams but if one does not do something about it, our younger generation will not be bothered to develop that same feeling towards their birth state.

But suddenly everyone is an expert about getting license. Yes we do need the items in the checklist but where is the actual thought put into the growth of the league. The idea was mooted some time ago under a different regime but who then approved it? And did anyone in this regime do another feasibility study to see if it may need a change to be relevant?

Once again, have the licensing practice is one thing but having one that is going to help the growth for the game is another thing. If it is for international status then explain the lowest FIFA ranking at the moment.

Implementing something with so much arrogance but not even tailored for Malaysian football just shows the elevator does go to the top floor.

But then again, no one knows what FAM’s long term plan are anyway not to mention the short term one.
B for Business Plan must be approved by highest decision maker and must be in English

Remember, without YOU the game is nothing. It will just be an empty stadium with all the fancy board members, media men, legal team, academy but no YOU! The players can’t be cocky nor paid what they are without YOU.

One more month left in 2017 and let me share with you that modern football requires for modern thinking and this is not a time to re-invent the wheel or correct matters that should not even be a problem in the first place but a time focus on a new, fresh step by making sure the game grows with the right thinking for the future to enjoy but beginning with YOU!
The problem with Malaysian football is YOU! The problem with Malaysian football is YOU! Reviewed by Ghaz Ramli on November 27, 2017 Rating: 5
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