I GOT myself thinking last week. No, seriously.
Okay, friends and bosses may be grinning, saying: “Thinking? You were never known for thinking, something that rhymes with it maybe, but certainly not thinking.”
And, yes, they’d be right.
But the truth is: that piece about the David Beckham Brand, his money, and the money that’s no longer in Malaysian football was food for thought.
I mean, it was all gripe and no solution.
Sure, Malaysian football has been going downhill (no allusion there to the former sponsors) since the big-money godfathers left the scene. Others have tried to step in but have managed to do little, no thanks to the better quality football on television.
And let’s face it. Astro is not going away. The EPL live telecasts are not going away. The only ones going away are the paying fans at the local stadium.
So, what do we do about it?
Malaysian football, obviously, needs re-branding and if we can’t beat them, why don’t we join them? Or just ride on their coat-tails.
What about making the stadiums THE place to watch the EPL matches?
We could have big screens at the stadiums; we could show live matches free – after the M-League matches, of course, and only for ticket-holding fans.
And the FAM could rope in a nasi kandar franchise. Imagine. Your favourite nasi kandar, roti canai and teh tarik – all the prerequisites for watching an EPL match. And all at the stadiums. The atmosphere would be electric.
We could have our own Fan Mile. Okay, okay, not a fan mile. Make that a fan furlong.
And you know those special matches like the ones this weekend between the top teams? Forget Bangsar, Bukit Bintang or the Curve.
All the celebrations could come to the stadiums, complete with ball-kicking competitions for the spectators and with prizes like free air tickets to England (it’s only RM9.90 now, remember?) and tickets to EPL matches (that would cost a penny and some).
Corporate sponsors and the airlines could be roped in. The media could jazz things up.
And the stadiums would become the temples of our football – where the faithful will come to worship. We could have a whole new football culture, a heady, spicy mix of Malaysian and European football (let’s not forget the Champions League and Spanish matches).
It would raise spectator interest and what the hell, it may even persuade them to watch the M-League matches.
Think about it. I shan’t. I’m no good at that kind of thing.
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