Rip it Up and Start Again
by Absolute Thai Football
“Dear football fans,
We have decided that you, the supporters,will run the FA for the 2012 season. All our staff and resources are at your disposal. See you at the end of the season in 2014. Best wishes; The Thai FA.”
Like heckling opposition Liberal Democrats power could find us out. But, unlike those flip floppers, we have a plan…
Monday morning. 9 o’clock. First job: give all clubs a health check of wage to income ratios, training facilities, stadiums and youth team set up. The Thai Fans Football Association is honour bound to stop financially vulnerable clubs failing or falling foul of temptation. Corrupt Chinese clubs were not reported on individually. They were Chinese football. Our league is as strong as its weakest link.
The TFFA Handbook opens with:
Rule 1.1. The bench shall contain less non players than players. Benched politicians must run a pitch lap in under two hours or explain the offside law.
Rule 1.1 subsection a. Terminal stretcher cases shall receive a minimum of five minutes life saving treatment before sprinting back onto the field of play.
Rule 1.1 subsection b. As in It’s a Knockout, teams have one huddle joker. If chosen after the scheduled kick off time, the opposition may start without them.
Rule 1.1 subsection c. Stadium draft beer vendors shall commence pouring before half time. They shall acknowledge they only sell Leo and that the 500 strong queue wants at least one each.
So now to referees. J and K League officials are flown over to coach and counsel. Our refs have their salaries doubled (at least) making them less vulnerable to bribes. stringent physical and decision making norms are ruthlessly enforced. All our players are told that aggressive physical contact with officials is not tolerated: ever.
Now referees are supported and professional, we will promote the TPL Asia wide as a vibrant new product. Free broadcasting rights for key games to targetted countries with weaker leagues are combined with a sophisticated marketing campaign for one season. Then we renegotiate.
We will skew all spending towards youth teams to develop a carefully graded, consistently applied system drawing on the best practices of top European clubs with our added mystery ingredient: patience. A youth system fails when analysed after ten years, not ten minutes. Our best coaches will train academies, potential star players will be fast tracked and equipped with a good education, including English. Our coordinated network of scouts will use detailed databases directly overseen by the national coach. A youth league for all teams gives provincial players opportunities to develop naturally rather than be benched in a big Bangkok team.
Finally, after giving TFFA board members hefty lifetime golden parachutes, we will put the “fix” into “fixtures.” Getting to one percent of the J league’s hundred year development plan is progress enough for us and, who knows, you might be bored to tears and reminisce about the days of arriving at empty stadiums.