My Malaysia: Back to Semi-Pro?


Before we go any further on Malaysian Football, I’m taking this opportunity to congratulate my school – Sekolah Dato’ Abdul Razak, Seremban for becoming the champion in the 10’s Cobra-CIMB rugby tournament. I guess, it is nice to see the boys are able to continue the tradition in getting honours in rugby tournament. Keep it up lads! Budak Sodar Tulang Bosi!

Back to what I’ve written as the title for this posting. It is mentioned in the news that former Deputy President, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah gave a suggestion that Semi-Pro could be one of the solutions towards solving  financial diffculty sustained by local football oraganisations. A commendable suggestion from former DP, but how will football fans alike react to it? How will football associations and clubs react to it? How will FAM react to it?

I supposed that financial difficulties faced by local football oragnisations is not new. It has been there since the introduction of professional era of M League. The financial burdens seems do not substantiate with the level of performance on the field. Players are getting “professional” salaries, but their performance, from my point of view, is not really as good and exciting as the Semi-Pro’s era.

The question here is this – Is it M League’s format and structure are the reasons, or actually the players and football management spoils the “professional” level of M League?

Although I am not Shebby, but I believe Malaysians can see the difference in quality of our players and outside of Malaysia. And believe me, this is not something that I am proud of. With the quality we have currently (just fancy plays but no quality plays goals), I believe that our players should not earn high wages. Back in December ’08, I’ve written on some suggestions that I summarised in my own words on how to revitalise Malaysian football. In the article, I’ve mentioned  on enforcing maximum wages to our players. The amount of course is subjective.

However, I suggest that the wage structure should be based on performance on the field. The basic wage should be just around RM1,800 to RM2,500 or RM3,000 maximum. Why? Considering the word “professional” entitled, I supposed normal executive level also earning around that figure. What makes them more “valuable” in a very short term basis with poor quality of performance than normal executives working in the office? Do they bring more income to the football management by their performance? I don’t think so. Our football scene still do not allow such football organisation to gain more income through the “popularity” of our players. I wonder if even if among states, will a particular UPB-MyTeam player’s name on a shirt will be hot stuff in Kelantan or Sabah? I don’t think so.

The basic wages suggested should be sufficient to sustain a normal life. To earn more, the players got to prove themselves on the football pitch. A “reward” or “bonus” can only be earned based on either appearance on the field, goal bonus, assist bonus or clean sheet bonus. This should be able to encourage our players to perform better, even if some of our players are not talented. 

I know, some will say that the life span of these players are just about 10 to 13 years. When they reach 30’s, they will not be able to perform as they perform in their 20’s. Fair enough. What are the options for them after they retire from playing football?

One of it – of course be a football coach. I  believe there are courses arranged by FAM to be a qualified coach. Other option is FAM to devise a way based on our military scheme on the soldiers.

To serve and protect the country requires lot of energy and strenght. By age, we will get older. These patriots will retire not in the 50’s as usual government servants. They will retire earlier than that. In other words, I would say that these soldiers shares the same fate as our sportsman. In this case – our football players.

Perhaps, FAM can devise a way of instill skills that the players may acquire and use after they hang their boots. At least, years after that, they will able to feed their family as what the army retirees can do. Teach them how to live, rather than pampering them with sky rocketed salaries now.

I supposed the details can be worked out by FAM professionals and excutives that they hire. Afterall, they have an Oxford grad in the house to lead them. And I suppose that each football associations and clubs also do have someone with financial and management skills to sort this out. Right?

Question on the street : A professional will be punished if he/she does not perform in normal working environment, but do our players receive the same treatment?

The way I see it, it is the football associations and clubs being punished for their poor performance which leads to poor attendance to watch a match and poor generation of income to the football associations and clubs.

4 thoughts on “My Malaysia: Back to Semi-Pro?

  1. Salam Bro,

    You really know what u talking about.. for that i respect u. Still on football, eh.. ok, lack of professionalism in managing the teams is also one of the main factors. Mentaliti Govt style of management masih kuat dikalangan orang2 kuat FAM dan negeri2.

    Bukan bola saja, mana2 agency yang connected to govt, sama je. Simple labelling doesn’t work. Maksud saya masa mula2 nak jadi pro dulu, adakah mereka yang bertanggungjawap dalam FAM dan Negeri2 benar2 faham ‘pro’ tu apa ? Sekadar jual beli pemain saja ? Bagaimana dengan mindset mereka sendiri ?

    My take – we go back before semi-pro. Tak perlu all this labelling semi pro atau pro. The good old days ( pada orang tua mcm saya la ) .. i enjoyed walking 4 km to the stadium just to support my team. Could name every players in the national team, plus the reserves. Sekarang, sorang pun saya tak kenal !

    Sorry, bro, saya melalut dah..

    ODS: Yup, still talking about football, as I believe that most male Malaysians have the passion for it. And in another way trying to get away from getting sucked into “soap dramas” of our politicians.😀

    For me, you are not “melalut”, but in a way showing that how was the feeling back then. I’m not as senior as you are, but through readings, asking people around and take a look at the impression at their face, I can imagine how was our football back then. Even when I watch the black and white replays of how our football team perform back then, I still can feel the excitement.

    Anyway, well said. You’ve found one of the gists of this article – the word “pro” and how it being defined, understood and react as per the word by related parties.

    Thank you for your comment, Dinturtle.🙂

  2. i think the government must take their hand-off from our football, and privatise it. sell this sports. money is everything.

    ODS: The question is, who will buy our “product” when the “product” itself do not live up to the “pro” standard?

    Anyway, thanks for your comment Doc Sid.🙂

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