Friday, February 12, 2016


Cash Dries Up For Malaysia's ATM

It wasn't that long ago when people were calling ATM the Manchester City of Malaysian football as cash flowed into the football club. And sure as bears defecate in areas with many trees, when a football club does get its hand on dollops of cash with no business plan there will be people queuing up to stop that money burning a hole in the club's bank account.

The money went as easily as it came and 2015 was nothing short of a disaster as ATM saw themselves relegated after just three years in the top flight with talk of players salaries going unpaid.

Winning the Premier League and finishing runners up in the Malaysia Cup, when they lost 3-2 to Kelantan in extra time, was as good as it was going to be for the Armed Forces team and ahead of the 2016 season ambitions are much lower.

The foreign players, the likes of Jerry Palacious and Mario Karlovic, have moved on as have many of the experienced local pros leaving coach Azuan Zain, just a week into the job, to make do with a relatively inexperienced local side made up of military men.

The season didn't begin too well. They lost 6-1 away to ambitious Perlis, newly promoted from the FAM League and with a new gaffer of their own in place...Malaysian legend Dollah Salleh. Still, at least Azuan doesn't have to worry about getting back in the top flight at the first attempt. ATMs target is to stay out of the bottom two and  avoid successive relegations.

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