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Worth a thought

Some of you have already known that Sriwijaya had won the Copa Indonesia last night by beating ISL champions Arema Malang.

Interesting fact is that three Singaporeans were featured in that match with Precious Emuejaraye for the victorious Palembang club, while Noh Alam Shah and Ridhuan Mahamud for the East Javanese side.

As rumors have been flying around and it's confirmed (according to sources) that both Ah Long (Noh Alam Shah - pictured above) and Ridhuan had played their last game for the "Crazy Lions" after talks apparently broke down over their messy contractual issues.

All these came at a time when speculations are rife that there might be another raiding exercise carried by the Indonesian clubs on notable Singapore players by dangling fat cheques and the prospect of playing in front of the big, passionate crowds (as depicted below).

Ironically, when Sriwijaya were in town months ago for the ACL play-off match against SAFFC I was told their expenditure from flights and accommodation were fully bored by the Warriors because of financial difficulties (must be one of the reasons why Duric did not end up in Palembang after all).

Sriwijaya's team shoot before their ACL play-off match against SAFFC.

On a separate story, it was revealed that Dutchman Roberts Alberts (former Tanjong Pagar Utd and ex-Home Utd coach) and several players threatened to quit Arema over unpaid wages months back.

Once, a friend asked me what's my take of the "second raid" that's going to be taken place.
"For experience sake, yes, why not as you are talking about playing in front a big, passionate crowds."

"However, with the financial instability that some Indonesian football clubs are known for, our guys must think really hard before moving down south."
I replied.
Last thing I heard according to this link here, which gives a good break-down account of the financial losses "Ah Long" had made since leaving Tampines Rovers for "Singo Edan" (the nickname of Arema in native language), that he might be heading to Thailand.

While it was reported that "Ah Long" had tempted his fellow Lions with the clips of the passionate "Aremania", I'm dead sure he will also tell them the downside of it and warn them to avoid the same mistake he made.


  1. Hi pohui

    Nice thought, but anyway, many clubs were suffering from financial problem because the local government couldn't give them the budget they previously enjoyed before the ISL exists. But starting this year, the local clubs can start using money from local government budget to finance their operational.

    for me this is a good news for players but bad news for football professionalism.

    But Arema is nothing new with financial instability because they are private clubs and not subsidized by the government. I think they are the only two club on ISL alongside PKT bontang that doesnt get any budget/money from the local government.

    Just insight from local perspective :)


  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Yes, I was told most clubs' operation were supported by the local governments, except for those privately-owned.

    So it does made me wonder why such a critical issue was not taken care when both Alam Shah and Ridhuan signed in the first place.

    For both of them, I really feel sorry for the duo and the fans given how popular they are among the Aremania, I'm sure they feel sad and left the club with heavy heart as well.

  3. For the top players among the Japs, Koreans and Chinese, their reason to move abroad is very clear, to improve their football. Hence they will move to somewhere in Europe or South America where standards of football is very much higher than their country.

    Football in Southeast Asia are mostly rubbish, and that includes Singapore as well. Due to this, our top footballers are trapped into this vicious cycle that outside of this region, they are virtual unknowns. Such that they are unable to find gainful employment elsewhere.

    That's the reason why the furthest most Singaporean footballers can travel are M'sia and Indonesia. It is not as if the ISL standards are several rungs above us (however I suspect some fellows out there may feel otherwise). If you analyse why these guys prefer to go "abroad", the reasons are mostly due to more money (well maybe slightly more, in the case of NAS, slightly less) and more fans interest. However why can't our league satisfy these 2 very basic criterias for a pro league? And there we are hiding behind a suspicious looking Strategic Plan, shamelessly touting ourselves as Asia Top Ten League??

  4. IMO if they want to play aboard they should have try leagues like Japan's J2 league or third tier JFL or South Korea's 2nd tier National League.

    At least their standards should be higher than any leagues in South East Asia, including Indonesia.

  5. This is really crazy... An 180degree turn of event as it was reported that Noh Alam Shah and Ridhuan had re-signed with Arema Malang, based on reports out from Arema's fans' site


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