Thursday, May 05, 2011
ISL & LPI To Merge?
I've been sitting on this story for a couple of weeks now, waiting for more mainstream media to do something on it and of course instead of it being a headline stop the press story it kind of sneaks through the back door.
Basically what I have heard is that the Liga Primer Indonesia will merge with the Indonesia Super League, the top 10 teams from each division will combine to form a new, I guess, super duper league.
I don't know how far negotiations have gone with this, a couple of people saying the that LPI won't continue after the mid season break.
It's worth pointing out that the FA still doesn't have a head. Can a decision like this be made without a head? Is now the best time to push through such a dramatic reform?
Details are still fuzzy obviously but today I see a story that PSS and Real Mataram would consider merging to join the super duper league. And there is lies the problem. PSS, despite a marvelous stadium and support, are a mid table Divisi Utama club while Real Mataram, despite boasting the LPI's top scorer, Fernando Soler, are 15th in the 19 team league, seven points adrift of 10th place.
There will obviously be some kind of discussion going on as to how best accommodate the LPI teams in a revamped (again) Indonesian football pyramid but you can imagine lower ranking ISL teams as well as Divisi Utama will fight tooth and nail to keep their place in the league structure. Perhaps mergers do offer a way forward with local government funding to end at the end of this year and LPI clubs being encouraged to adopt a more commercial footing.
I did ask a leading LPI official last weekend but they knew nothing about it.