Thursday, April 8, 2010

FAS Strategic Plan need stakeholders support first

FAS have finally launched their Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 and much of the debate since have focus on the topic of money as FAS will need to double their budget to make this plan work.
However, this may be the least of their concern as one wonder if they have the support of the stakeholders’ involved for the main jewel of their Strategic Plan is the National Training Centre (NTC) and yet, we do not even know when it will be build as FAS do not have the land.

For me, that tell the story with the stakeholder, in this case, the government, not won over yet and looking through history on projects of similar magnitude, we could be looking at a long draw-out process.

The Sport School and Esplanade took over a decade to be completed from the point of concept as they await the funding and, more importantly, the allocated land.

If FAS is indeed looking at Farrer Park site – as speculated by a SPH newspaper – then they are asking for the sky and I will rather they settle for land in the HDB heartlands for one cannot see how the government will be willing to give away a plot worth over hundred of millions for nothing.

Afterall, having the land first to build NTC is the important point, not the location, especially when the stakeholder, the government, has not been won over yet by your plan. 

Hong Kong is a good example as they are also land-scare and the plot of land (picture below) their government allocated to them for their football academy is in a far-flung estate.

Continuing on, let looked at another stakeholder in the plan and that will be the schools as FAS seek to double their number so more children are participating in football thus fall in love with it on the field and not just from the screen.

It is a good point but it is the other point that may fall short of the target.

From the enlarge pool of children, FAS hope to see schools helping to develop them with accredited coaches teaching them the National Football Syllabus developed by the Technical Director of Football.

That the problem as the schools main focuses is education, not sport, and they are unlikely to spend the effort to fully implement the National Football Syllabus for we must remember back in 2003, FAS had won the approval of MOE to implement a school league based on the Denmark system - it will expand the number of games they played as well as the lengthen the school football season.

However, schools fear it will overload their administration as they have other sport discipline as well so the plan died in it fancy.

FAS should therefore not hold out too hope on this front but it is good enough already if we do see more children playing the game.

After that, we have the plans to revive the Merlion Cup and the stakeholders will be the administrators of other Football Association.

It is clear FAS is disappointed by the level of teams they are playing in other nations Friendly Cup competition so decided they could maintain quality control if they hosted their own one but the era of Friendly Cup is over and the only Friendly Cup that have any success in term of maintaining quality is Japan Kirin Cup and it cost a bomb and even then, it may not always be the case as last year Scotland game showcase.

Other Football Associations have different goals from FAS and one cannot see how FAS will win over this stakeholder.

This will extend to the ASEAN Super League (ASL) that FAS keep trying to sell to the rest of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) members.

This plan was formed as far back as 2006 and in the four years that have gone, they do not even have concept on which model to base this competition on.

That tell us a lot on how far it has progress with opposition from the individual ASEAN Football Association well-noted for AFF have not even been able to co-ordinate a ASEAN Club Competition since the last one 5 years ago.

That why, FAS claimed it can only start from 2014 for nobody wants to join and FAS, clearly, want to use that time to sell them the ASL concept again.
One can wish them good luck especially as their model of a stand alone ASL, without domestic league, is unpopular even among S-league members so let not start with other ASEAN Football Association.

With so much on the plate and so many of the stakeholders not on the same wavelength, money should indeed be the last thing on their mind as they need to get the stakeholders (like the government) working together first and that mean, let see the allocated land.

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