Monday, April 09, 2007


Ayo, Persib Bandung

They used to say about Geordies that if you dressed 11 mannequins in Newcastle United football shirts and paraded them in the shop window of Top Man you’d have 20,000 fans queuing all night for a sight of their heroes!

Bandung fans are no lees fanatical. As indeed are Jakarta’s, Surabaya’s, Arema’s etc. With central government deciding that clubs shouldn’t be funded from public money it is time for the people who run the clubs to source alternate revenue streams. This is especially vital now because how much longer will tobacco manufacturers be allowed to advertise their product in such a blatant manner?

Persib Bandung have started in the right direction. While I was combing the centre of town yesterday I came across the Official Magazine, price 20,000 rupiah. Of course I bought it even though my Bahasa skills ain’t the best. Rather like their counterparts in England Persib have produced a slick, glossy magazine that provides info, stats and chat for that fanatical support. How well it sells I don’t know. The issue I got was the first edition. It also had some interesting historical pieces. I would be interested to know of any other clubs that produce such a magazine.

Bandung, or at least some of their following, are a pretty clued up bunch. As well as the aforementioned magazine I also came across a couple of tabloids devoted to the club. One was called Persib +, the other Maung Bandung or Bandung Roar. I saw another called Bobotohs. Put this alongside their presence on the web,, , , and you have the makings of an infrastructure that can be developed to benefit also the club.

Mind you it would also help of the club sold tickets straight to the fans and cut out the touts. If fans are willing to pay 20,000 rupiah to a broker, better the money goes to the club? Nice idea but I have a hunch there is an ‘agreement’ in place to prevent this.

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