Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Out with the old

Last week's Thai FA Cup final between Thai Port and BEC Tero marked a watershed in Thai football. It brought together the new look TPL, rebranded and emphasizing community, against the old style Thai football. Corporate with no community backing.

BEC Tero are backed by a Thai TV station and have had their moment of glory in the recent past but even a commercial tie up with the Arsenal isn't enough to pull in the punters.

Imagine a tourist in Bangkok who fancies watching a game and tries looking for BEC Tero on a map? Ain't gonna happen.

They're not dead, far from it. They finished 3rd in the recently completed TPL and in Anon Sangsanoi they boast one of the most consistent strikers in the league. And don't foregt they arfe coached by Tawan Siriwan, one of the finest players of his generation and indeed the first Thai player I remember. (During the Asian Cup/Games in Hiroshima his name seemed the easiest for me to recall!)

Unfortunately for the team known as the Fire Dragons they are being surpassed by other clubs who are concentrating not just on the field but off it as well. Clubs like Chonburi and Muang Thong United are packaging and promoting themselves as 'local' clubs and their efforts have been paying off, proving a benchmark not just for Thailand but throughout the region.

Once upon a time the league was dominated by the likes of KTB, SET, TTM, PAT and KFC (OK, the last is bollocks but only 'cos no one actually thought of it!) but Thai-me to move on.

Thai Port are the new breed. Gone is the old name, PAT, and while I would prefer Klong Toey I appreciate I'm just a geezer with a lap top and when you look at the original in Thai it does make more sense. (Tha Reua is a name on the map)

Their crowds have grown over the last season and they were followed by bloody thousands at the Supachalasai Stadium when they won the FA Cup.

For BEC Tero the choices aren't necessarily immediate, there's no sign of them folding this week, but long term they maybe looking at jumping on the TPL gravy train by finding a home base and developing a home support.

'Cos let's face it. Fans brought up on the likes of Liverpool will feel a bit daft chanting for a TV station to win a football match.

One thing Thais are great at is copying...i mean getting inspired...surely the commercial clubs will learn from their peers.

surprised you did not mention that BEC is Worawi's club. Looking for some favors are we? :)
the comment about the head of some fa in malaysia was enough touchin on politics for one week! makes my skin crawl...
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