Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Penang are Skint

Published: Tuesday October 21, 2008 MYT 4:23:00 PM
Football: Penang withdrawal would be a ‘disaster’
GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s former players, coaches and supporters all agree that it would be a disaster if the state football team was withdrawn from the Malaysian Super League competition next season.
Penang football is at its lowest ebb, with the Football Association of Penang (FAP) facing a crippling financial crisis, unable to pay the players’ salaries for more than four months.
The FAP council, rocked by their president Mohd Fairus Khairuddin’s resignation on Monday, will meet Tuesday night to decide on the state’s participation in national competitions next year.
Club sides like Selangor Public Bank, MK Land and Nibong Tebal FA have withdrawn due to financial difficulties in the past.
But if Penang withdraw, it will be the first time that a state team has dropped out of the national league due to financial constraints since the HMS Malaya Cup began in 1921.
Former Penang and national player Isa Bakar symphatises with FAP’s predicament, but strongly feels that a pullout would harm the development of football in the state.
“The Penang FA are caught in a difficult situation. They have an obligation to put up a state team, but do not have the funds to do so,” the football legend said.
“Even during my playing days in the 1970s, the team officials had to look hard for the money to fund the team. The current FAP officials need to work out ways to solve the problem.
“One way to keep the Penang team afloat would be for the FAP to negotiate with the players to take a pay cut. The players need to make a concession for the sake of Penang football for this idea to work,” said Isa.
Former Penang player and coach Datuk M. Kuppan, who coached the Panthers to their last Malaysia Cup victory in 1974, urged FAP to find a new president with true passion for the state’s football affairs.
“If Penang pulls out, the whole image of the state will be badly affected. The Penang football fraternity will be demoralised and it will take years to recover from the setback.
“It is important that the FAP regroup and find someone with a strong passion and with the means to bring in funds, as their new president.
“Penang has plenty of corporate figures, and I am confident that at least a few of them have followed the state team’s fortunes over the years,” said Kuppan.
Long serving state coach Moey Yoke Ham said it would be sad if Penang, with a rich winning tradition in the past, were to withdraw.
“I have faith in the FAP council to find a way to avert the withdrawal. The main issue now is a lack of funds. The public, especially the Penang supporters, can step up to contribute and save the day.
“I believe Penang can compete next year by working on a reduced budget,” he said.
For Penang Football Supporters Club (PFSC) members, the thought of the team not playing in the M-League is frightening.
PFSC president Tamsir Rizal Ali Akbar said that the club is strongly against a withdrawal.
“I hope the FAP council can find ways to keep the state team in the Super League competition. It is unthinkable for us supporters if our beloved Penang team is missing from the Super League.”
In the 2007-08 season, Penang finished 12th out of the 13 teams in the Super League and failed to reach the quarter-finals in the Malaysia Cup competition.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?