Monday, January 17, 2011
The government in Indonesia is none too keen on having local governments subsidise football teams and with good reason. Why should the taxpayer fork out for a football team when schools are in poor conditions and roads are damaged and health care is inadequate?
Given the worldwide clampdown on tobacco sponsorship it's only a matter of time before they will be banned from getting involved in Indonesia. Before anyone gets on their high horse about this remember it weren't that long ago the Australian national team were called the Winfield Socceroos and one of England's biggest non league competitions was called the Rothmans League.
Most Indonesian football clubs seem to have a blind spot when it comes to sponsorship despite the enormous potential. I saw one quote from a club official, forget the club, who said his team came from a small town, who would want to sponsor them?!!
Some clubs have deals with local state run banks, some clubs have, um, nothing. They don't even have club shops where fans can buy club gear.
The breakaway Liga Primer Indonesia has at least managed to get a couple of multi nationals involved. While the PSSI talk tough about possible sanctions they need to consider the interests of the sponsors. They were attracted to football because they recognised the potential market. They, and other potential sponsors, don't want to be scared off by political point scoring.