Somehow, I am sceptical about the whole setup. Yes, it is only a protem committee and new committee will be elected soon.
It was a very impressive and professional launch at a hotel in, but the composition of the people present did not authenticate the event.
Missing in numbers were the professional soccer players themselves, except for seven National U-23 who were regarded as the pioneer members of the association. Also not present were the icons of Malaysian footballers, except for Bakri Ibni and Zainal Abidin Hassan, the coaches, and the officials from the State FAs.
Yes, the FA of Malaysia secretary-general, Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad was present and Deputy Sports Commissioner, Mohd Salleh Ramli officially endorsed the PFA and was the VIP for the event. But something did not gel in the event.
ONE FOR THE PFA MALAYSIA ALBUM......(standing from left) Subramaniam, Chelliah, Mohd Salleh, Azzuddin and the seven pioneer members from the National Under-23 squad.
PFA Malaysia general secretary, E.R. Subramaniam was holding court from start to finish, that protem chairman, Dhinesh Chelliah, was totally overshadowed.
Speaking of Chelliah or popularly known as dc, as is his array of printing companies which all start with initials dc, he seemed lost in the event.
The organisers for the event were from dc companies, which left many wondering what a printing company was doing in a professional footballers’ association setup.
Call cards distributed by the organisers at the event, all bore the name of the company dc instead of the newly established PFA Malaysia cards!
If they are in the process of printing the cards, one wonders how come all the folders, programme cards, brochures in the bags, notepad, and T-shirts were all ready for the event.
But it was learnt that dc are the main financial backer and involved from the beginning in the set up of PFA Malaysia.
Little wonder that the folders, programme cards, brochures, the bags and notepads, were all impressive and of high quality.
Then the tagline for PFA Malaysia caught the eyes of many – For the Sake of the Game. (Should it not be For the Sake of the Players). One quick look at their taglline and one would have mistaken it For The Sale of the Game!
Do not be mistaken though that the objectives and the benefits for the players are all noble.
Among the objectives, include:
To bring together all the members in Malaysia regardless of their race, religion, gender or politics;
To improve and uplift the level of professionalism and the standard of the game
To educate and develop our players in every aspect of the game
To pursue and defend the rights of professional football players
To provide a career path after football
The benefits for the players include:
Players’ Image Right
Recognition of Players
Collective Bargaining Agreements
Players’ Voice as One
Assuming that PFA Malaysia will be working hand in hand with the FA of Malaysia, I would have thought that the former would have struck an agreement with the national body to ensure that all the professional players who sign up with FAM to be automatically registered with PFA.
This way, they can fulfill their objective to be the voice of professional players in the country and to act as the collective bargaining agent.
This will similar like all the unions for the various professions.
However, membership to PFA is voluntary. This would mean that players who are not registered with the PFA will not see their welfare being looked into.
What about several professional players who have recently left the scene frustrated of non-payment from the State FAs.
Subramaniam said that they will only look into welfare or plights of players who are currently professionals.
As a new entity in Malaysian football, one would have thought that they would have started off by helping some of the professional players who had to leave the game because of non-payment of salaries to become drivers and security guards.
This would have been seen as a noble gesture and would have been a selling point for the new establishment.
But now, these former players probably will have to register themselves as Associate members, if they are allowed, before any form of help can be rendered.
Lastly, something tells me that the presence of a private company in the setup is a business venture to reap from merchandising, branding and commercial deals for players.
It is fine to have the experts working from the outside as consultants with PFA for the above, but to have them being part and parcel of the setup, certainly looks like conflict of interest.
It is hoped that the setting up of PFA under the present scenario does not lead to more disputes. If that happens, who is going to resolve these issues?
It is learnt that a seminar in collaboration with the FA of Malaysia a seminar will be held for players, officials and coaches of the M-league. It is hoped that a clearer picture is painted in the seminar and any doubts are cleared once and for all.
For now, congratulations to PFA Malaysia for having made the move to set up the organisation, but hopefully was kicked off on the right note.
The last thing we need in our soccer scene is another controversy!