It was recently reported that Malaysia FA Cup champions Kedah will miss out on the 2018 AFC Cup after it was revealed that they had failed to meet the deadline to obtain the necessary licence. This is due because Kedah failed to submit their audited accounts.
So, once again, the management of a football team was found wanting. How could the management fail to comply with the procedural requirements?
Malaysia football started their professional football league way back in 1994, and after 23 years of turning professional, our football landscape is still plague with unprofessional management that has seen unpaid wages and non compliance happen year after year. It is no secret that people in football upper managements are still politicians and persons who are not full time managers. Players and coaches are professionals, how come management is still not?
It is about time fans and FAM demand that management of football teams are also professionals; persons who are full time or experts in the business of football. It is time for football governance to play a part in the growth of Malaysian football.
What is Governance in Sports?
Governance is quite simply a system by which sports organisations are directed and managed. It includes elements of accountability; leadership; integrity; transparency; responsibility; and good judgment. Having a good governance structure will have a significant impact on the performance of the sport, both on and off the field.
Start Small – Engage the Professionals
Whilst an overhauling of the management of football teams in Malaysia may take time (and significant willpower from the various stakeholders), taking small steps towards the wonderful age of sports governance is a step in the right direction. Teams can start engaging professionals for assistance. Such persons like a professional accountant; auditors; sports lawyers; marketing experts; branding; management consultants etc. In other words, start running the football team like how a professional business is managed. The mindset has to shift that running a football team requires full time attention with persons or professionals that assists in various areas.
Things Won’t Change if We Don’t Change
Unfortunately for football fans, our standard of football will not improve if management doesn’t improve. Football is not just about the players. It is an ecosystem. A great player will not go far if management is weak and unprofessional. Things won’t change if we ourselves do not make the change.
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