2016 MSL wish list: Five ways to improve the league
We start with the biggest stakeholders – the fans – without whom the game simply wouldn’t be No.1 in any part of the world.
Football fans are what keep the sport growing. Big-money sponsorships, television rights, astronomical transfer fees, lucrative contracts – it all comes from the incredible following football enjoys worldwide.
But what happens when the fans stop coming?
Look at neighbours Singapore, the S.League is suffering mightily right now and it is largely because local interest in the competition has waned.
What about in Malaysia? Selangor’s 33rd Malaysia Cup win was particularly timely as the domestic scene enters a new era under Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP).
It says a lot that Kedah fans outnumbered Selangor at the latter’s home stadium in this month's Malaysia Cup final, yet it was still the best Selangor turnout in recent years and that is something FourFourTwo would like to see returning week in, week out.
Fans far away from the capital still turn up in numbers, but that too is very results-driven. Look at back-to-back MSL winners Johor Darul Ta’zim for example. They only started attracting large turnouts when the Crown Prince of Johor Tunku Ismail Ibrahim led their revolution at the start of the 2013 season.