Revamp a recipe for disaster

ARE the Malaysian Football League (MFL) expanding the Super League to 18 clubs and discontinuing the second-tier Premier League?

Many in the football fraternity are talking about the revamp, which could be implemented from next year, and most are unhappy.

However, MFL are still expected to carry on with the revamp.

Although the revamp is still in discussion, many also disapprove of the proposal to replace the Premier League with an Under-23 reserve league.

The revamp, if implemented, will reflect badly on the football fraternity, showing that the club system in the country is weak and has not progressed over the years.

Abolishing the Premier League is a joke for many and proves there are only a few quality or financially healthy teams in the club system.

Currently, there are 12 teams in the Super League and 10 in the Premier League.

However, two teams — one each from the Super League and Premier League — are expected to withdraw from next season's competition due to budget issues, while feeder clubs, Selangor FC II, Terengganu FC II and Johor Darul Ta'zim II, will move to the reserve league.

Under the new format, each Super League club must also have a reserve side, an Under-20 (President's Cup) team and an Under-18 (Youth Cup) team.

It is learnt that the foreign-player quota will increase from the current five, while there will be no promotion and relegation for two seasons before a second-tier competition is reintroduced.

However, some teams may feel the pinch as they may not have the budget to handle four squads.

Furthermore, the M-League is known for their salary issues.

Many teams were fined and docked points over the years for not paying salaries, despite steps by MFL to counter the problem.

"It is normal to see teams not paying salaries to players. It happens every season. And if a team have to come up with a budget for four squads, it could end up in a disaster," said a reliable source.

"Currently, only a few teams are thriving financially, while others are struggling to source funds. So are we ready for this major revamp?

"There are also plans to increase the foreign-player quota.

"If this happens, local players, especially the up-and-coming ones, will find it hard to break into their first teams.

"Increasing foreign players in the league will only benefit a handful of teams, who are financially stable.

Football has become competitive, and only the fittest will survive. The move will definitely create more issues and will not be good for the league's image.

"Any rule changes should be beneficial to all teams, not just a few. I hope the MFL board will think it over before introducing changes to the league system," the source added.

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