SHAH ALAM (8 Oct 2019) – There has been a lot of assumptions and incorrect opinions on the proposed merging of FA Selangor and PKNS FC.

FA Selangor has been withholding official information on this matter as we wanted to finalize the process of this consolidation before making an official announcement.

However, because there has been an increasing amount of statements that we feel is incorrect due to lack of clarity on the matter, we believe that FA Selangor needs to set the facts right.

The allegations towards FA Selangor that we are merely pushing for this move to happen just to obtain more funding isn’t true. We believe that if this consolidation happens, we have a huge responsibility not just to deliver results, but also build a strong platform for youth players to excel and succeed in becoming top Malaysian talents.

This isn’t about FAS alone, it is about revamping the football landscape in the State to ensure a higher chance of success in the future.

The intention of rationalizing football teams in Selangor mainly FAS and PKNS FC has been around since the past few Menteri Besars. Unfortunately, various factors were not aligned to make this happen. 

However, since the past few months, Tuanku Presiden DYTM Tengku Amir Shah together with Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor YAB Tuan Amirudin has discussed and deliberated on the best way to move forward on this issue extensively.

YAB Menteri Besar has stated various times in the media that the intention is clear, which is to rationalize PKNS to become a feeder team.

There are a few reasons that this option is the best way to move forward for football in Selangor in general, despite having to make some sacrifices;

  • Financial Responsibility. It is estimated that RM44 million is spent by three football teams in Selangor for the 2019 season (FA Selangor, PKNS FC, Selangor United). This is much higher than many other teams in the Malaysian Super League. However, performance for the three teams has been average. Only FA Selangor achieved top 3 in the Super League and are now in the Semi-Finals of the Malaysia Cup competition in just the first year of Tuanku Presiden’s leadership.
  • Instead of spreading the funding thinly over 3 teams, it is financially responsible for the State Government in wanting to consolidate and fund only one team, with a significantly reduced amount. It is estimated that almost RM16 million can be saved from the consolidation.
  • If we assume that half of the amount is government money (the rest are corporate sponsorship), a total of RM8 million can be saved from the government’s coffers. This funds can be channeled instead to fund education, healthcare programmes and add to the development expenditure which will benefit hundreds if not thousands of more people.
  • Refocus on the objective of each organization. It is imperative in these highly competitive times that all organisations including state enterprises put focus on its original purposes and objectives. In order to bring a better impact to the people of the State, both FA Selangor and PKNS as an entity will have to make the most out of limited resources by aligning its activities to achieve what they were originally set out to do.
  • Higher chances of securing corporate partners. With the consolidation, the State team has a higher chance of securing partners and sponsors. This is by having a larger fan base, more assets to market and advertise, and a larger target group for the partners to leverage on. The teams are also not competing with one another in this difficult economic environment to obtain sponsors and partners. As we are aware, it is getting harder and harder to attract corporates to sponsor sports teams, particularly football
  • A better, more structured approach to football development. Currently there are various uncoordinated efforts in football development. The pathway for youths to become professional footballers is unclear. With this consolidation effort, will improve the coordination and structure of football grassroots development to create clearer pathways towards professionalism.
  • The grassroots activities that PKNS has done significantly well can continue to happen and with closer collaboration with FA Selangor and the State Government, a better reach to all nine districts of the state will be enabled to find the next stars of Malaysian football.
  • Improved management structure aligned to FIFA/AFC/FAM’s ambitions. With the move to consolidate, it is an opportunity to reorganize the management structure to make it more professional and effective, by adopting models used in Japan, Europe, and even American sports management structure. By having a professional management team in both the corporate and technical side, results on and off the field will have a higher chance of success.
  • Reducing the gap between the Super League team and President U21 team. After many months of analyzing data, we found that there is a huge gap between these two teams. Not many of the Presiden U21 players can cope at the highest level of Malaysian football, and many will tend to drop off and do not progress. The feeder team will enable us to bridge this gap, whereby Presiden U21 players can be exposed to more competitive matches in the Premier League level. We have contemplated creating an entirely new team to become a feeder team.
  • However, MFL ruling means this team needs to start playing at M3/M4 leagues. Starting from the bottom isn’t wrong, however, it means we will potentially lose 3 to 4 years and jeopardise the development of our U21 President and U19 players. Our efforts to turnaround football in Selangor are not short-sighted, therefore this feeder team initiative will assist to bring back Selangor’s glory days in the long run.

The football industry is fast changing. And with the challenging economic and financial environment that we are currently facing, we need to evolve as well. 

Just around 10 years ago, Nokia and Blackberry used to be the top-selling phones. However, they did not adapt to the changing environment and now are almost nonexistent. Football needs to evolve with the times too.

We need to be financially prudent, at the same time making the most of the resources we have to get the best results for the football team. The State Government and YAB Menteri Besar realizes this and are taking the right measures together with Tuanku Presiden for the benefit of Selangor’s football and at the same time putting the wellbeing of people in Selangor in mind. This is a pivotal moment and will be a game-changer in Selangor’s football history.