CEO: Star signings not on Perak's priority list, not repeating financial mistakes of the past

ARNAZ M. KHAIRUL
21 Jan 2023 03:39pm
Bobie Farid Shamsudin, Perak FC CEO
Bobie Farid Shamsudin, Perak FC CEO
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SEREMBAN - Whether there is any truth to talk of youngster Luqman Hakim Shamsudin being courted by local clubs as uncertainty looms over his future at Belgian side KV Kortrijk, Perak FC is unlikely to be his destination, with the club prioritising prudent financial management over star signings.

Some clubs, including Perak FC, revealed they had been tossed the idea of signing the national striker by intermediaries, but thus far none have made serious efforts to sign the 21-year old.

Perak FC, already looking a transformed side with a revamped management eager to ensure their return to the Malaysian Super League will at least erase the memories of a troubled two years that saw financial issues and the ensuing internal turmoil result in them relegated for the first time in 2021.

Despite the key transformation being in its playing staff, with former Japan-based strikers Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor and Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak brought in to boost their frontline, Perak FC aren't in a rush to sign big names, citing prudent financial management as a priority.

"We cannot rely on such ways. We can't follow what other clubs have been doing all this while. They are doing the same thing again and again (signing big name players). We know this pool of players all have a price and you really have to spend big if you want to achieve what you want in that way," said Perak FC chief executive officer Bobie Farid Shamsudin.

"If we follow what other teams are doing, then we are not bringing anything new to the industry. So in that sense, I think we are quite certain that we won't be following that route. There are other areas to look at first, before we come to this."

With non-payment of players' salaries a recurring issues plaguing the league for the past decade, Bobie said it was time clubs learned their lesson and take the management of their finances seriously.

"To understand the issue of clubs failing to even pay salaries, it is down to professionalism. If we want to call ourselves a professional league, then it should start with the management," said Bobie.

"To be a professional firstly means to be paid."
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He said the constant recurrence of controversies around clubs failing to pay salaries is due to the culture within the clubs themselves, who start a season looking to load their teams with big name signings and foreign players while disregarding their finances.

"When you want to sign a player, you must be sure that you have the finances ready, not the other way around. What many other clubs are doing is, they start a season wanting to have big players, they want to be in a race to compete with JDT," said Bobie.

"Big name players command salaries of RM20,000, RM40,000, to even RM100,000 a month. What I see teams doing is they do not have the finances before hand, but sign these players anyway, hoping that they would bring in the money in sponsorship, in merchandising and fill the stadium with spectators. The reality is, that does not happen."

He admitted that among the major risks of players continuously not being paid salaries for months at a time was that it then opened the doors to bookies and betting syndicates to court players who were in financial difficulty and corrupt them into engaging in match fixing.

"When you see there is a problem caused by practices that have failed, you must change your ways. But the problem with our clubs is they keep repeating the same practices over and over again," said Bobie.

Having taken charge of Perak FC under the ownership of telco XOX, Bobie had himself learned of the gravity of financial mismanagement which led to the team's fall from grace resulting in relegation, the ensuing turmoil and a revolt by players who were victims of unpaid salaries in 2021.

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