Thursday, August 21, 2008


Football is Dying

Rumours continue to abound about unpaid salaries throughout the ISL. You still see quotes from club officials, living in some parallel universe, insisting they are waiting for local government funds even though this have been disallowed.

Clubs used to a culture of handouts and opaqueness just aren't going to embrace the world of marketing and cash flows just like that. Even if they wanted to.

You then have clubs being shifted round the country willy nilly and being forced to play in front of empty stadiums and what you have is an unworkable business model.

It's widely accepted not all 18 clubs will finish the season. Will the league?

Football in Indonesia, like the rest of Indonesia, has massive potential. Potential that is being ignored.
Next time you see a game on TV with spectators check out how many fans are wearing club colours. And you know how much of that revenue gets to the clubs? Peanuts. Less than peanuts, the salt on the peanuts. If they're lucky.

No one knows precise gate figures.

Instead people just rely on hand outs, TV money and prayers.

With no investment at the highest levels of the game you can imagine what is going into the grass roots.

A while back I spoke with someone very close to the management of one ISL club. He said he knew he was essentially an enthusiastic amateur. He said there were too many people like him. What the game needed was professionals.

And as I write this Indonesia B are dominating against Brunei at an empty Bung Karno Stadium yet struggle to score. Or pass. Or shoot on target. Or control the ball. And an embarrasing performance by the man with the whistle.

The ISL starts again early September. Ramadhan. The fasting season. Will anybody still care?

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