Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Persebaya Tighten The Pursestrings

Traditionally Persebaya are one of Indonesia's biggest clubs. Over the years they have won the Perserikatan, the predecessor to the professional era, six times and have won the Liga Indonesia twice. But not since 2004. And since the duelism era of the Indonesia Premier League ended they have struggled to make an impact as their fans have stayed away.

During the 2011-2013 years there were two Persebayas. One was was called Persebaya 1927, they played in the IPL and they were the ones the fans supported.

Since the leagues 'merged' Persebaya 1927 to all intents and purposes no longer exists. The Persebaya who play in the ISL are seen as imposters, a fake team parachuted in from East Kalimantan masquerading as the real Green Force deal.

The club invested heavily in players for the 2014 season, bring in Rahmad Darmawan, an experienced coach who had previously led Persipura and Sriwijaya to the ISL. RD, as he is known, went on a spending spree, bringing in the likes of Emmanuel Kenmogne, Greg Nwokolo and M Ilham. He even had two international keepers at his beck and call; Jendri Pitoy and Ferry Rotinsulu.

To be fair they justified the pre season tipsters who felt they could go all the way. In their 10 home games they eight of their 10 games during the regular round, netting 27 goals in the process. And they weren't too bad on their travels either, losing just twice.

Despite the goals and victories, the fans stayed away.

For some reason, come the play offs that came one month after the regular season had ended, Persebaya couldn't find any consistency. They drew five and lost one meaning they missed out on the semi finals and a stab at the title.

It seems the club's beancounters have learned their lesson. The highly paid big names have moved on and in have come a number of younger, perhaps hungrier, players including the promising Evan Dimas who made his international debut before he had played any club football.

The purse strings have been drawn shut and Persebaya look to be opting for youth in the new season with coach Ibnu Grahan relying heavily on Brazilian import Otavio Dutra to provide experience.

Last season's coach, Darmawan, has returned to Persija for a third spell and he has taken with him some of his favourites.

With the club signalling their ambitions for the new season it appears the fans will continue to stay away as they continue their protest at the owners. There has been talk Persebaya will play their home games at Bangkalan Stadium on the nearby island of Madura. That would certainly be a more comfortable fit that the cavernous Bung Tomo (pictured) which echoed to the sound of perhaps 2-3,000 fans last season.

You wonder, don't you, what the owners' motives really are. With the fans against them what do they hope to achieve?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?