Selangor fans initiate petition to save the Red Giants

Tired of internal bickering, poor decision-making and a massive drop in standards, a group of Selangor fans have initiated a campaign to turn the Red Giants into a fan-owned club.

It is no secret that Selangor, record 33 times winners of the Malaysia Cup and historically the biggest team in the country, are in dire straits.

The Selangor state government has pulled the plug on its annual funding, largely because of an internal conflict between two camps that escalated after the ‘retirement’ of Football Association of Selangor’s (FAS) general secretary Rosman Ibrahim and treasurer S. Sivasundram.

FAS are desperately trying to plead with Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali for funds. He is also FAS president but no longer seems to command authority in the association.

Azmi is the chairman of state government arm PKNS, which earlier this week withdrew as an FAS affiliate after the latter refused to support the Red Ants’ 2017 Malaysia Super League participation until showdown talks with Azmin.

All signs point to a disappointing 2017 season as the club is struggling to even make ends meet.

Selangor Ultras (UltraSel), who have long vented their anger and frustration over Selangor management and believe they have done little to improve the Red Giants, have used the current scenario as an opportunity to turn their team around, starting with a fully privatised fan-owned club.

A #RevampSelangorFootball petition, which has over 400 signatures in less than 24 hours since being put online on Thursday, is gaining momentum on social media and Azmin has been asked to stand his ground on stopping state government funds.

“We invite all Selangoreans to join us in revolutionising the Selangor team through a fund collection. But this is not a donation drive, instead the financial pledge will be made in the form of an annual membership fee, to start a fan-owned club ownership initiative,” read the petition.

“This method of ownership is similar to what is practiced by renowned European clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid. It offers accountability and encourages best practices in operations as well as promoting transparency in the running of the club.

“Let’s make Selangor the pioneer of a 100 per cent fan-ownership club model in the country together!”

A RM1000 proposed buy-in for a yet-to-be-formed company comes with a year-long membership, a season pass and a vote when electing the club's executing committee. The group is limiting their membership to 15,000 fans at present.

The fans intends to form a company and hope FAS will agree to hand over the management of the Red Giants to this proposed company. Once that takes place, fund collections will start.

The move is unlikely to take off in time to save Selangor’s 2017 season, but there is hope that a new direction could start the long process of returning the club to its former glory, commencing in 2018.