Friday, December 31, 2010


Arguments For Liga Primer Indonesia

I've written plenty of stuff about the breakaway LPI recently and not all of it has been positive. There are a couple of reasons why I haven't really sat down and analysed the arguments for it are two fold. First I covered all that ground when I started writing about Indonesian football. Second, I am not convinced it's a long term option.

Indonesia does need a regeneration though. Certain clubs do get the 50/50s. And the 40/60s and more. The blame, though being heaped on the match officials, is going in the wrong direction. Let's put it this way, there are a few teams who are in the LPI who have done pretty bloody well out of dodgy decisions. What do they expect in the LPI? They can carry on regardless?

The whole point of the LPI is to do away with that kind of shite.

Last season it was common to hear that Arema would be champions long before the end of the season. Accusers point to favourable suspensions, rearranged games benefiting Arema, so on and so forth. Oh, and the top guy at the ISL being the top guy at Arema! Whether the allegations were true or not the perception was there and for many people not fully in the know perception becomes a truth.

Both Persema and Persibo cite the over reliance on local government funding as a primary reason for switching to the LPI. In the ISL as far as I can make out only Pelita Jaya, Semen Padang, Persib and Arema try to get by without using tax payers money. The rest are dependent on local government hand outs which are erratic and late.

Clubs like Sriwjaya, Persipura and Persija shouldn't need to go cap in hand to the taxpayer. They are surely big enough to be able to get money from a variety of sources but don't seem to bother trying though I understand Sriwijaya are moving in that direction.

The LPI offers something different. All money from sponsorship etc will go into a central kitty and clubs apply for sums based on their needs. Sounds like a recipe for disaster given some of the characters involved in the game but players and clubs seem to prefer this method as they feel assured they can pay their salaries and expenses on time.

So again, clubs aren't being expected to stand on their own two feet. Rather than try and cash in on the most popular sport in the country with a population of 240 million they would rather stick their begging bowl out. Taxpayer or central fund, neither method is a long term sustainable model but then long term is an alien concept.

Apparently there are a host of sponsors queuing up to get involved in the LPI. Nobody wants to invest in the ISL given the management there but they are keen for the LPI. With eight days to go before the season is scheduled to begin we have yet to see any evidence of these sponsors but they are critical to the whole running of the competition.

Certainly the ISL has either struggled or not even bothered trying to get people n board beyond tobacco companies and they will lose that in a few years anyway when a law goes through banning tobacco sponsorship of sport.

The LPI is also promising a larger piece of the pie from TV money. At the moment the channel broadcasting live games, owned by the same family that is influential in Indonesian football at all strata, pays some absurdly small amount to show the games and the clubs don't get a whiff of it. The LPI promises to charge TV more for the rights and will share the money between the clubs.

Indonesian football is a cash cow waiting to happen. It needs professional management at all levels from the national association to the clubs, not the 24 year daughter of the club owner, it needs merchandising in place, it needs a decent TV contract that reflects the true value of the game and the clubs need cash flow to meet their commitments to their players.

The LPI promises all that plus more.

Just for info. Andi Darussalam Tabusala (ADT) was one of the Arema Indonesia founders (formerly Arema Malang) than Brigjend Acub Zainal (Alm), Lucky Acub Zainal, Ovan Tobing and Dirk "Derek" Sutrisno (Alm). In 1986, Brigjend Acub Zainal (Alm) became one of the PSSI Chairman, Kardono era, also served as Administrator of Galatama. While ADT served as Secretary of The League. ADT itself, until now, had no stock in PT Arema Indonesia. When PT Bentoel Prima donated their stock in Arema Indonesia to Arema Indonesia Foundation, they asked for ADT became The Chairman of Trustee Board of Arema Indonesia Foundation. Only ADT as one of the founders was still active in football. In The Arema Indonesia Foundation board, top level is the Chairman of Arema Indonesia Foundation who chaired HM Nur. While the managerial authority or Executive Commission of PT Arema Indonesia is in the hands of corporate directors.
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