Hamidin: MFL moving in the right direction

Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin’s (pic) first-year tenure as president of the Malaysian Football League (MFL) has been marred by the Covid-19 pandemic but it has not stopped him from moving forward with plans for the future.

Q: Your one-year reign ends on 14th of this month. How do you see the future of MFL, in particular the business aspect?

A: To be frank, it’s like a roller coaster ride, so many ups and downs. Our football has a bright future but it must be professionally run. MFL is heading in the right direction towards instilling a sense of professionalism. The days of handling things with kid’s gloves are over. Next year onwards we go strictly by the book. So teams have to be more mindful as MFL will not be lenient any more.

You have identified several shortcomings, what are the main ones?

Firstly, the subsidy mentality, bailouts or handouts must be stopped. MFL and the teams need to build strong foundations to market themselves. Gone are the old ways of hoping for blind support from sponsors. We need to convince them why football is the sport they should sponsor. Innovative thinking plus out-of-the-box approach is required.

What are your plans to improve and provide solutions?

Operational wise we have started to be lean and mean. In order to have a successful organisation we must be profit-driven. Sadly I inherited a problem-plagued MFL and together with Datuk Ghani Hassan (chief executive officer), we are working towards a successful business model. Hopefully, things will improve over the next two years. We need time as changes are gradual and it cannot be done overnight.

Wearing different hats is tough, how are you coping?

My vision is to allow a more capable person to take over the reins of MFL and steer it to greater heights. I have my hands full at the Football Association of Malaysia (as the president) but right now, I am duty-bound to helm MFL. It has been rough sailing so far but I believe our future is bright once we start implementing plans that have been drawn up.

Can you share your expectations for the MFL board and the teams in the M-League?

Currently, the 24 teams are part of the MFL set-up as they have three representatives elected amongst them on the board. Another three are independent members while FAM are represented by three board members. We don’t want the FAM representations to have any interest or links to clubs or state teams in order to avoid a conflict of interest. It is important that MFL remain independent of FAM and the teams as to practise transparency and accountability.

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