Sunday, April 12, 2009


Kelantan think positive

KELANTAN will not hesitate to withdraw from the Super League if the sanctions imposed on them by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) lead to financial ruin. Rather than owe players wages, as is the case with some other teams, Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa is prepared for a mass auction of his squad during the May transfer window instead.

FAM banned Kelantan from using the Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium in Kota Baru as their home venue for the rest of the season as punishment for their fans' violent behaviour after Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat to Negri Sembilan in the FA Cup semi-finals first leg.

Kelantan were also hit with a RM90,000 fine and ordered to play all their home matches, including youth and age-group tournaments, at a neutral venue.

"We are one of the few state teams not to receive support from the state government. We have had to survive on gate collections and other sources of income," said Annuar at a press conference at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"With this home ban, we will find ourselves short of RM2 million. In evaluating our options, we might stop playing if we cannot afford to continue."We lose out on gate collection and because our President's Cup team also have to play at neutral venues, our costs will increase drastically.

"In fact, we have given back to FAM through fines and stadium levies more than what we received from them through the RM300,000 grant."But we don't want to owe our players wages, so when the transfer window opens in May, I'd rather 'lelong' them all to other teams. No need for Kelantan to play anymore then.

"But I stress that this is the most extreme of circumstances. We hope we don't reach that stage and will find a way to survive this somehow."Annuar, who rebuilt the team following relegation to the third-tier FAM Cup league in 2005, expressed hope that their fans will have learnt their lesson.

"We hope this becomes a lesson to Kelantan supporters. Their actions hurt the team. They always want to win but must also learn to accept defeat," said Annuar.'When we were playing in the FAM Cup in 2005, we had no spectators. We started from zero, repaid old debts, but they cannot expect miracles to happen. Sometimes they just don't understand."

Annuar also ruled out an appeal to FAM against the punishment and stated his desire to base the team in Kuala Lumpur, starting with today's "home" fixture against Selangor at the National Stadium.

The match is expected to attract a sizable crowd given that 40,000 turned up at the reverse fixture on Feb 28 in Shah Alam, half of whom were Kelantan fans -- who also turned unruly by raining missiles and seats on to the pitch and at rival supporters after Selangor won 3-0.

"The issue of an appeal does not arise as we accept this as a challenge. We also hope to use the National Stadium as our home venue and if needed, I will base the entire team in Kuala Lumpur so that we don't have to travel," added Annuar."For tomorrow's (today's) match against Selangor, we have arranged for 300 police and 100 security personnel to be on duty. We hope everything passes of peacefully."

COMMENT - fair play to the guy for not whinging and blaming everyone else.

I salute them!!
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