ARGUABLY one of the biggest deals in Asian football was signed recently between Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and leading London-Based international media rights company, MP & Silva Ltd.
The deal, which is believed to be worth about RM1.26bil over 15 years — was formalised following the establishment of the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP).
The new structure in Malaysian football will take immediate effect, and its administration will soon kick off the football season this year with beginning with the Charity Shield later this month, followed by the M-league and Super league on Feb 6 and 7.
Under the new partnership, FAM will receive 40% of the total revenue of FMLLP, while Malaysian clubs will receive 30% of the funds.
Meanwhile, development of referees and youth players will be allotted 10% and the remaining 20% will be channelled towards the running of the leagues.
Instrumental in the formation of the partnership, MP & Silva Asia Pacific managing director Beatrice Lee tells Metrobiz that the formation of FMLLP will take Malaysian football to the next level.
“FAM’s vision is to grow Malaysian football leagues and provide a better platform for all the clubs. By pledging a minimum of RM1.26bil over a period of 15 years, MP & Silva hopes this vision can be achieved.
Although the amount pledged is RM1.26bil, the actual amount of funds channelled towards the venture could very well surpass that figure,” says Lee, who was previously in charge of the commercial rights for the Chinese national football and basketball teams and assisted in the sale of Fifa archive rights across Asia.
The deal is structured in a way if FMLLP manage to attract more money than the capital injected each year with the assistance of MP & Silva, then that benefits will be shared between FMLLP and MP & Silva on a revenue-sharing model defined in MP & Silva’s partnership agreement.
“This is a strategic investment from our point of view. We signed a long-term deal with FAM because we are looking for a long-term partnership. We are looking to establish an office here in Malaysia,” she added.
“What’s happening to the M-league now is the same thing that happened to major European football leagues in the early1990s, and we will be aiming to reap similar success for the M-league,” Lee explains.
MP & Silva, which also partners with the English Premier League (EPL), Germany’s Bundesliga and the Italian Serie A, plans to grow smaller leagues across the globe and Malaysian football has caught its eye.
Last year, the company was appointed as the media adviser to the Belgian Jupiler Pro League for a period of six seasons, starting in 2014/15 season.
The advisory role will allow MP & Silva to develop and implement in close collaboration with the league, commercial strategies in relation to sales of media rights and coordinate under the league’s authority the production and technical services to be provided by prospective licensees.
The worldwide agreement covers all matches of the Jupiler Pro League to be distributed to any platform or devices domestically and internationally.
Likewise, MP & Silva was appointed as the Scottish Professional Football League’s overseas broadcast partners for nine years, from the 2014/2015 season to the 2022/2023 season.
As International Development Partner of the League for Season 2013/2014, MP & Silva will be the sole licensee of the SPFL’s broadcast rights in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia in the current season.
The company also secured a deal for the exclusive rights to distribute the prestigious Uefa Euro 2016 in Japan for the first time
“Just like our partnerships in Europe and other parts of Asia, we have looked at South-East Asia as an important region for us and the Malaysian league is one of the most stable leagues in this part of the world,” said Lee.
Calling the partnership a ‘historic milestone’ in Malaysian football, FAM president Tengku Abdullah believes says the new system in place is a game changer in the administration and development of Malaysian football.
English football has benefitted from a similar partnership which was done in the early 1990s.
According to published reports, attendance has risen by 42% in the English Premier League, 56% in the Championship, 20% in League One and 63% in League Two between 1992/93 and 2013/14 and revenue has increased sevenfold up until 2012/13.
If Malaysian football is able to replicate the successful EPL model, it will become one of the most exciting leagues in Asia.
The new structure of Malaysian fooball
• In this new structure, the teams participating in the Super and Premier League are partners with FAM. This means that they share the total income of FMLLP, originally at 30%. Thus, whatever the total income of FMLLP, 30% will go to the teams. In the future, this percentage may increase depending on the total income of the league.
• The teams receive 30% in a tiered meritocratic points system. This system awards points based on the team’s final position in the league, progress in the cup and number of games that have been broadcast live (for the home and away teams).
• The total value of each point is dependent on the total amount contributed into the Teams Fund (30% of total income), meaning the higher the income, the greater the value of each point.
• This has been designed to try to reduce the disparity between the top and bottom teams, as FMLLP hopes to narrow that gap as much as possible whilst properly rewarding the achievements of the teams.