Monday, March 11, 2013


Better The Guarantee Of Rice Today Than The Promise Of Fish Tomorrow

If Pelita Bandung Raya were to be bought out by an Arab sheikh, appoint Jose Mourinho as coach and sign Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo they would struggle to make an impact at the gate.

In recent years Pelita Jaya in the ISL and Bandung FC in the LPI have tried to muscle in on the city of Bandung and have not only failed to make an impact; they have failed to last.

Bandung is blue as is West Java. Persib blue. The whole bloody province with perhaps the odd pocket in places like Bekasi and Depok which are more Jakarta satellites than Sundanese homeland.

If I know this as an outsider then surely the locals must know it.

You don't pile into Newcastle or Barcelona and try and take on the local big boys without doing your homework, without spending massive amounts on marketing and without having your head seen to.

Pelita Jaya tried to play their home games in Soreang, Purwakarta and Karawang without creating any kind of lasting impression so it was little surprise when the owners decided to sell the club. What was a surprise was when it was announced they had been bought by Bandung Raya, a club playing so far down the Indonesian pyramid most had forgotten they were even a football club.

Pelita Bandung Raya showed signs of ambition. They brought in Simon McMenemy as coach and signed the likes of Nova Arianto, Mijo Dadic, Gaston Castano and Eka Ramdani.

But the fans weren't interested. The Bandung Raya support continued but the Pelita Jaya fans, attracted during their spell in Karawang, decided they weren't going to make the journey and the gate suffered. Games played at Soreang, a fine stadium which is far from the middle of nowhere, echoed to the shouts of the coaching staffs and players with never more than 1,500 attracted to the games.

The club drastically reduced ticket prices to no avail.

West Java is blue.

Following the 1-0 home defeat to Persita at the weekend coach Simon McMenemy has quit, tweeting that 'I'm a proud man so I will be the 1 to confirm that I will be leaving PBR, Results speak louder than developing young players, Disappointed'.

Two wins all season have seen Pelita Bandung Raya slip into the relegation zone, and their next home game sees them come up against Persib themselves.

There was a hint that all was not well within the club on Sunday when McMenemy tweeted 'trust is useless if it only goes one way'.

Building a team for the future is a job fraught with difficulties. Not every club is blessed with a generation like Beckham, Scholes, Giggs or Thomas, Rocastle, Merson.

Results are what keep coaches in a job, unless you are Arsene Wenger, and the potential glories of tomorrow carry no weight in a la la land where egos among the club management will always trump footballing decisions taken on the training field.

Such has it ever been here and so it will continue.

The question is how much longer can the football club last?

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