Monday, 23 May 2016

It’s time to get behind the Referees

It’s time to get behind the Referees

As I reflect on another season, there are some things I feel very strongly about. Refereeing is one of them. To be honest I am getting a bit fed up of people complaining about the standard of refereeing in Hong Kong. It is unnecessary and ultimately counter-productive.

I would say, 90% of the complaints are unjustified. By that I mean that the decisions taken on the pitch are actually correct under the laws of the game. I know this is true because every time someone complains about a specific event, I go back and review the incident on DVD (we record all of our matches). So why do people feel the need to complain? Well actually there are a number of reasons;

·         They genuinely believe decision was incorrect
·         The complainant doesn’t know the laws (it’s surprising how often this is the case even among players, coaches and team officials)
·         It’s an emotional over-reaction when decisions have not gone their way
·         The result was poor, so they must find someone else to blame
·         They’re jumping on a popular band wagon, ‘Fergie, Wenger, Mourinho etc complain about referees, so I should too’
·         In extreme cases it can even be pure vindictiveness

Some people may have other reasons that I don’t know about but I think they should take a leaf out of Claudio Ranieri’s book. When decisions didn’t go his way recently he refused to criticize the referee saying that the result would not change anyway and that bad decisions even out over the course of the season, so what is the point of complaining?

Everyone and I mean everyone makes mistakes from time to time and as fallible human beings, it is inevitable that referees will do so too. During the course of a match, officials make hundreds of decisions, the vast majority of which go unnoticed simply because they are correct and play continues. These decisions are made in a split second without the advantage of an elevated viewing position or instant replay. And like I say, even when complaints are made, the decision turns out to be correct nine times out of ten.

Believe me I would have a big problem if I thought the few mistakes that happen were made deliberately e.g. to favour a particular team or to influence the outcome of a match. But that’s not the case, I’m sure of that. Genuine mistakes I can accept and so should everyone else. The most important thing is that we learn from our mistakes. The performance of every HKFA referee is scrutinized by a qualified assessor. If corrective action is deemed necessary by our Referee Manager and the Referee Committee, it is taken. This can mean suspension, a period of re-education or other sanctions. Our Referee Department is trying hard to recruit, train, evaluate and improve referees.

I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement because there always is and I think the referees themselves would be the first to admit that. In the same way as there is room for improvement in all aspects of football in Hong Kong including the quality of players, coaches, team officials, infrastructure etc. We are on a journey and we all need to work together, rather than be divisive.

The reason why I say complaining is counter-productive is because football needs referees. Without them there is no match, full stop! The more we complain, the less likely it is that we get people wanting to be referees.

So in my opinion people should accept that mistakes will occur and let the HKFA get on with selecting, training and (where necessary) re-training referees.

Where these people are associated with football clubs they also have a responsibility to educate their players and coaches to respect the referee’s decision and get on with the game. Far too often this season we have seen players surrounding referees shouting and swearing and far too often we have seen coaches screaming and gesticulating wildly, sometimes even coming onto the pitch (for which they should be disciplined). This sort of behaviour is unacceptable, sets a bad example and is far worse in my opinion than a referee making an occasional honest mistake.

It’s time to support our referees not disrespect them and if people can’t do that then perhaps they should put on a black jersey themselves and see if they can do a better job.


Mark Sutcliffe, CEO    

35 comments:

  1. I am not going to talk about refereeing. My question is that the new Kai Tak consultation is now out for the public to voice their opinions. https://www.kaitaksportspark.hk/en/index.html

    As anyone can see there is a public sports ground for "local football matches". It is very strange that for a facility that aims to attract international sporting events, they are planning yet another public sports ground and expect HKFA to host local football matches on it...

    Also all the opinions I sent to you, and you told me that you agreed with, none of them are on the plans.

    Just exactly what kind of designers/planners are these? They seem to have no clue whatsoever about Hong Kong's sporting needs. In fact these facilities would be useless if Hong Kong were to apply for the 2022 Asian Games. Thank God we did not.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Allan,
    My understanding is that the public sports ground is essentially a 'secondary'/warm up stadium with a capacity of 5,000 which can be used in conjunction with the main stadium when major events are planned. For some major events this is a requirement. It makes sense economically and strategically to use this smaller stadium for other local events e.g. football matches during the year.
    The main stadium itself which is 50,000 will help to attract the big events to Hong Kong (both sporting and entertainment). It seems to me that what is on the website is a summary (I guess it is difficult to put too much detail on a public consultation). The HKFA has been consulted and the facilities proposed have been specified to meet our requirements as well as those of the AFC and FIFA.
    The designers/planners are listed on the website so you can check out their credentials. Again as I understand it, the design is only indicative because the construction contract will be a design, build and operate approach.
    I am sure the Government would like to hear your views. After all, that is what the consultation process is for.
    The HKFA is supportive of the scheme because there is an acute need for additional facilities in Hong Kong.
    Regards
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  3. The HKFA is supportive of the scheme because there is an acute need for additional facilities in Hong Kong.

    How would there be additional facilities if HK govt plan to demolish Hong Kong Stadium? You may not believe it will happen but the media and fans are saying so.

    Hong Kong Stadium is vastly under-utilized. In the first half of 2016, apart from the Hong Kong Sevens, there had only been three football matches held at the stadium, giving the govt perfect reason to demolish it.

    I couldn't believe it when the Hong Kong players said they prefer to play in Mongkok over Hong Kong Stadium before the China match last November.

    HKFA has a responsibility to encourage clubs to use the HK stadium. HKFA should/must get South China and Eastern to at least play their AFC club and HKPL home matches at Hong Kong stadium.

    If you don't use it, then you will lose it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Allan,
      At the new complex there would be two pitches, a main one and a secondary one so there would be more pitches even if the exiting stadium is demolished.
      However, I have consistently said (and I stand by it) that the existing stadium should, in my opinion, be retained with a lower spectator capacity (e.g. by removing the upper tier) to create a 'medium' size facility to bridge the gap between the new 50,000 and the existing smaller stadia such as Mong Kok. I don't know whether to believe the Government will retain it or not because as far as I am aware there has been no official announcement.
      I agree with you about increasing the use of the existing stadium and I have been pushing with the Government to allow us to use the stadium more often (especially as it now has a new pitch). I wanted two of our teams to ground share this season.
      However that wasn't possible because this season has been unusual in that the pitch wasn't finished until the end of September/early October. It was then damaged by the Rugby tournament in November and needed a further period of establishment. It was then closed for our use in March and April for the Rugby 7s (we are not allowed to use it during these months). Hopefully as the new pitch becomes more settled, the Government will relax the restrictions and we can use it more often.
      We wanted to use it for the China match last November (despite what the players said) but it wasn't available. Soon we will start to talk to the clubs about next season but their concern will be the hire charges which are more than the other venues (The HKFA has subsidized this in the past). We will use it for the Asian Cup qualifiers home matches too and some of our friendlies if we get a big team that will attract the crowds.
      Regards,
      Mark

      Delete
    2. It is reasonable for the players to prefer using MKS, as it is tactically better for them.

      Delete
    3. Dear Mr Sutcliffe,

      Would the situation last year rather reflect the need of two stadiums of considerable sizes?

      It is obvious that both football and rugby need stadiums of that size.

      As is the practice of recent years, if a team plays at the Hong Kong Stadium, it would be forced out from it during March (due to the Rugby Sevens).

      The problem seem would only intensify with the prospect that HKPL team(s) may play in the group stage of the ACL (which is believed to attract a large crowd).

      Would it rather show the need of two stadiums of considerable size (because of the need of the two sports).

      Regards,
      Jonathan

      Delete
  4. Will there be 10 teams in the HKPL in 2016-17 season? When will a decision be made about this issue?

    If there are only 9 teams next season, then please consider inviting Benfica de Macau to join. They have gone 17 games unbeaten in the Macau league and are ready to take on stronger opposition.

    In Singapore S League, we see Brunei's DPMM take part, so it should not be a huge problem in terms of FIFA regulations. For the HKPL clubs, they just make one trip to Macau for the away league game so it is not a huge cost. They don't even have to stay the night in Macau.

    Benfica de Macau can probably find a sponsor for their participation in HKPL to cover their costs, if you invite them early on enough.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Allan,
    At this moment in time I am am unable to confirm how many teams will be in the HKPL next year because we are waiting to see which Clubs apply for and meet the criteria for the Club Licence. By the end of June we hope to be able to confirm. I have always said that we should get to 12 teams to make the league more interesting and sustainable. As well as the current 9 HKPL teams I can confirm that we are discussing things with teams in the 1st Division, Macau, a team from the Mainland and ultimately I would also like to see a HK U22 team in there too not just to make up the numbers but to give local young players more of an opportunity.
    Regards,
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Mr Mark, does it means the champion and runners-up from 1st division give up the promotion?

      Matthew

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Hi Matthew, as spoken, it doesn't mean that the Div 1 teams have given up the promotion. We are still in discussion.
      The uncertainty of how many teams and which ones is a frustration. We need to be finalise things soon so we can plan schedules, venues, marketing materials etc. It's not easy in HK to confirm these arrangements. I'm envious of the Engglish Premier League, it's much easier for them to plan ahead.
      Regards,
      Mark

      Delete
  6. Hi Mr Sutcliffe,

    I write to check if there is any development in respect of the establishment of an Arbitration Tribunal.

    As it is required under Article 36.2 of the HKFA Articles, "[t]he HKFA shall create an Arbitration Tribunal, and the Board shall draw up special regulations regarding the composition, jurisdiction and procedural rules of this Arbitration Tribunal."

    Generally speaking clubs and participants of the sport are not allowed to have recourse to ordinary courts under the FIFA-hierarchy structure (see Article 68 of FIFA Statute; Articles 3.2 and 10.2(f) of HKFA Articles). Against such context, the establishment of an arbitration tribunal is of importance since it would replace the function of the Hong Kong Courts in dealing with disputes relating to the HKFA Articles and the other by-laws.

    Legal fairness and certainty are not only cornerstones of the rule of law, but also of successful sport governance. Only if both substantive and procedural rules are clearly set out and adhered to, it is possible for investors and other participants (including players) to feel assured that they would be treated fairly. I also believe that with concrete and precise rules published, the administration of the HKFA would find more guidance in decision-making.

    Insofar as I am aware of, an arbitration tribunal has not been set up yet, apart from the NDRC specialising in employment and contractual matters. The NDRC is clearly incapable of dealing with wider disputes concerning some important decisions, such as club licensing decisions of the HKFA. In light of the development of the common law in the last decade, it is well-settled that albeit that sport governing bodies are not subject to judicial review (R v FA (ex p Football League) [1993] 2 All ER 833; Hong Kong Rifle Association v Hong Kong Shooting Association (No 2) [2013] 3 HKLRD 362; Hong Kong Rifle Association v Hong Kong Shooting Association [2012] 4 HKLRD 411), they are yet, in private law proceedings, subject to the same tests akin to those applied in public law (Stephen Lee Bing Fai v Hong Kong Automobile Association [2015] 3 HKLRD 689; Bradley v The Jockey Club (No 3) [2005] EWCA Civ 1056; Bradley v The Jockey Club [2004] EWHC 2164 (QB); Modahl v British Athletic Federation (No 1) (unreported, 28 July 1997); Fallon v Horseracing Regulatory Authority [2006] EWHC 2030 (QB); McKeown v British Horseracing Authority [2010] EWHC 508 (QB); Mullins v McFarlane [2006] EWHC 986 (QB); Flaherty v National Greyhound Racing Club Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ 1117). The fact that there is a HK case supporting this is important since Article 36.2.3 of the HKFA Articles provides that Hong Kong law shall be applicable in the arbitration tribunal. As reflected by practice of the English FA, the Arbitration Tribunal, as an effective substitute of the court due to the prohibition of recourse to ordinary courts, would apply the same tests when challenges are lodged against decisions of the Football Association on such relevant grounds (Sheffield United Football Club v. FA Premier League Ltd [2007] ISLR, SLR 77).

    I hope that the HKFA would see the above-mentioned tests as guidance and assistance for the achievement of good governance and fairness and quality in decision-making. With this framework of rules, not only would legitimate interests of the participants including investors and players be benefited, but also the quality of HKFA's governance and the development of Hong Kong Football as a whole.

    Under these circumstances, I do think that the prompt establishment of an arbitration tribunal as specified under Article 36.2 of the HFKA Articles would mark a healthy milestone of the entire reform "package" of local football governance. It would also make HKFA's and clubs' effort in finding sponsors and investors more persuasive. I therefore earnestly hope that we will hear some news soon regarding the development of this respect.

    I look forward to hearing back from you!

    Best regards,
    Jonathan Ip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jonathan,
      Thank you for your detailed comment/question. Your note has prompted me to check on the progress of the Arbitration Tribunal because as you say it is important not only as a vehicle required by FIFA to determine the outcome of football issues but also to demonstrate transparency. Our Legal Advisers are working on the terms of reference etc but now you have reminded me I will speed up the process. I will keep you posted.
      We have already established the National Disputes Resolution Chamber.
      Thanks Mark

      Delete
  7. (It seems that blogspot is not working well? this following comment keeps disappearing!)

    Hi Mr Sutcliffe,

    I would like to continue with the second aspect of my message here due to the letter-limit.

    On the other hand, I would also like to see the reasons of important decisions of the disciplinary committee and the reasons of all decisions of appeal committee and the arbitration-tribunal-to-be-established published.

    This would mirror the development of the English FA practice, which now regularly publishes decisions of various committees on important matters such as players' suspensions and clubs' complaints (and even John Terry's punishment) and the reasons thereof.

    This would promote transparency of the quasi-judicial aspect of governance of the HKFA and would convince the public that the HKFA is a body governing fairly which applies the rule of law.

    This would also benefit legal practitioners and all stakeholders involved in this sport, since as the case law of the HKFA bodies develops, interpretations of rules will be increasingly unambiguous and legal practitioners and stakeholders of football would all know the rules and their legal rights and obligations more precisely.

    It would of course be more ideal if the HKFA could create an online platform similar to the Court of Arbitration for Sport's search engine as it would benefit research of the jurisprudence of the HKFA. I further hope that this effort could be done in coordination with other sport governing bodies (such as the anti-doping committee of the HKNOC) (possibly under HKFA's leadership).

    I hope that my opinions would not cause too much nuisance or inconvenience to you and that they would be taken as comments given out of good faith, be them useful of not. I very wholeheartedly hope you every success in leading the “re-birth” of Hong Kong football in spite of the long and hard journey to go through!

    Best regards,
    Jonathan Ip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jonathan,
      I can assure you that your comments are in no way a nuisance or inconvenience. I set this blog up to receive comments from the public and I am grateful that people like you take the time to write with suggestions, comments and sometimes criticism.
      The outcome of our Disciplinary Committee decisions is already put on our website but maybe not at the level of detail that people would like. Important Committee and Board decisions are also made available online. I think there is room for improvement in how and what we share. All I can say is that from my perspective there is no deliberate intent to withhold information, maybe just sometimes we do not think that people would be interested.
      Thanks for your comments.
      Regards
      Mark

      Delete
  8. Hi Mr Sutcliffe,

    I think a team from the Mainland does not really suitable for the current Hong Kong culture. The HKPL will become more interesting but the mainland team itself will not be interesting, especially if the mainland team is a youth team which will not attract mainland people either.

    However, I supports inviting Macau teams to join HKPL. It apparently will not form a youth team.

    For making the HKPL and Macau teams more interesting, I suggest that HKFA can let Macau HKPL clubs joining Macau domestic cups to qualify for AFC Cup, like what the Canadian clubs in MLS do.

    Regards,
    Tony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Dear Tony,

      If you are meaning that Macau HKPL football clubs should take the places of Hong Kong MA, I doubt if AFC would ever approve such arrangements regarding continental competitions.

      It is quite obvious from the current practice that such arrangement is not allowed. An example is the exclusion of S-League's Brunei DPMM and Albriex Niigata (S) from representing Singapore in AFC competitions. Another similar rejection could also be found from the case of Wellington Phoenix in A-League (in fact since it reduces eligible A-League teams for AFC competitions to only 9 teams, it has also barred the max places which A-League could be allocated to).Even in the MLS, Canadian teams are not participating in the US Open Cup. They qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League rather through their own Canadian Championship.

      If you are rather referring to an arrangement allowing Macau HKPL clubs to enter into AFC competitions through Macau domestic cup(s), would it rather be a matter for the Macau Football Association and the AFC to be bothered with? With respect I do not envisage any role which the HKFA could play in facilitating this.

      Of course all of these are said from my position as a mere bystander and would not represent the opinions of any other persons or bodies.

      Regards,
      Jonathan

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  9. Hi Jonathan,

    The one I suggested is clearly the latter one (like in Canada and MLS), as I am suggesting let Macau teams to play in Macau domestic cups and not the Hong Kong domestic cups.

    This situation has never been appeared before in the Asia. The Macau side plays in Macau domestic cup means they will represent Macau to play in AFC competitions instead of Hong Kong. It is not same as the one in S. League.

    Since it may be the affair between AFC and MFA, I would suggest CEO can let Macau clubs and MFA know there is a possibility to do that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Tony,

    Benfica de Macao already represent Macau FA in the AFC Cup as Macau football league champions. They already played in 2016 AFC Cup preliminary round and they will do so again this summer.

    Allan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Allan,

      I knew that Benfica represent Macau in AFC Cup already.

      What I meant is letting future Macau HKPL clubs to join Macau domestic cups to earn a AFC club competition spot, as they cannot earn it via HKPL and HKFA domestic competitions.

      Delete
  11. Hi mark!! Is there any progression on the Tseung Kwan O football training centre?? It has been long time we haven't heard anything about it. It would be great if you have any updated information to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nick,
      Yes, there has been a lot of progress. In December we appointed a Project Manager (a Company called Advisian) who has been doing a great job in terms of moving things forward. We also appointed a design team (Mannings) earlier this year and they have prepared working drawings and submitted them to the Government for approval. The tenders for the main contractors are due back next week and we are in negotiation with the Government on the land licence. June and July will be crucial months because we want to finalise everything and put all the approvals in place so we can start work on site in August. If all goes to plan the centre will be open in July 2017.
      We are still planning 6 pitches (3 natural turf and 3 artificial).
      There are still some key challenges to overcome, particularly engineering ones linked to it being a landfill site and some sensitive land licence issues to resolve. I am also a bit nervous about whether the tenders will come in within budget.
      The plans look really good and subject to all of the outstanding issues mentioned above, it will be a really exciting project and will make a major contribution to football in Hong Kong.
      Thanks for asking the question.
      Regards Mark

      Delete
  12. Hello Mark,

    It's always frustrating to see that after a season of hard work, clubs once again have to worry about their financial difficulties.

    That makes me wonder if there is anything that HKFA can do on its part in the hope that this kind of situation will happen less often. Requiring clubs to submit a two-year plan for the club license, covertly leading club sponsors to commit for a longer period of time, maybe?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi there, thanks for your question.
    I agree this is a huge problem.
    Regarding the Licence situation, up until now we have been trying to mirror the HKPL Club Licence on the AFC Club Licence. The AFC Licence is an annual Licence and therefore so is ours. I'm not sure that having a 2 year Licence would make much difference to a sponsor because this would not prevent relegation in the event of coming last in the League.
    The HKFA already attempts to help the clubs in many ways. The entry fee to join the League is only HK$30,000 which in the scheme of things is very little. We organise the League, the schedule, the venues, match-day operation etc etc. We spend around HK$1m per year on marketing and promotion of the HKPL. We negotiate collective deals on broadcasting, insurance etc in an attempt to keep costs down.
    In return for the match-day organisation the clubs give us 5% of the gate receipts. In most cases this doesn't cover the costs involved. In fact I asked our accountant recently to work out how much it costs the HKFA to run the HKPL. The figure was over HK$5m including prize money of HK$1.2m. That's how much the HKFA subsidises the clubs in the HKPL, over HK$500,000 per team (and most of them are supposed to be commercial organisations). We tried recently to establish the League as an independent entity as in some other countries but there was apathy among the clubs (for obvious reasons). Without the HKFA HK$5m subsidy it would be even less sustainable than it is now. In my opinion the Clubs taking part in the HKPL get a very good deal from the HKFA.
    The key to the future of the HKPL is getting more commercial support for clubs from the corporate sector. Over the border in mainland China, commercial support has never been stronger largely because of support at the political top. We need more of that here in Hong Kong.
    Both the HKFA and the Clubs need to work harder TOGETHER to generate more commercial interest.
    Regards,
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for spending time in writing this blog. I am a local fan that now based in US. I attended a internal friendly match against Myanmar and watched the World Cup Qualifiers in HK last year.
    First of all, I would like to thank you for your leadership in HKFA as we can see a lot of positive signs over the past few years. Namely, HK national team is performing, Greater marketing campaign, Free match broadcast. And I am sure there are a lot of unseen efforts that are under appreciated.
    HK football is formed by a group of enthusiasts and people with different talents and network. HK football won't be as is without their wholeheartedly contribution and dedication. Despite there are conflicting views among the clubs, and between the HKFA and the club or complaints, I am sure they all share the same will, to improve HK football. As you mentioned in the above comments, there are lots of area that the HKFA and the clubs should work TOGETHER, I further believe that uniting all units and securing an effective communication channel between the HKFA and the clubs are the lubricants needed for existing HK environment.
    In addition to the club representatives, HK also has an amazing group of supporters. There are several Facebook groups that gather HK football fans and the fans all closely follow what's happening in the HK football world. A lots of constructive comments and creative ideas are seen in those conversations on Facebook. Thus, I am encouraging the HKFA to step one step further to create a healthy feedback loop between the fans and the HKFA such that HKFA is never alone in improving HK football situation.
    Given the recent HK national team fever, it prompts me to think about the HK football future. HK is unique in that we have lots of football fans, but only limited to overseas club. It will be a no brainer whether I attend a local match or watch a EURO 16 match. It is obvious that EURO 16 is more fun to watch and they are higher standard. The only time to fill up a stadium is probably the HK national team playing or HK clubs appearing in prominent stages of a cup(e.g. SCAA played in the quarter final of the AFC cup). It is all about the identity that brings HK people to the local match. And it is also the identity that can revive HK football environment. So it is critical that HK national team continue to fight and perform as well as HK clubs in continent level.
    Then the next question is how to achieve it. Although I am not an expert in football, but there are a few suggestions that can hopefully help HK football.
    - Equip the coaches (Pegasus played significantly better since the arrival of Kevin Bond. Given it was the same group of players and resources like pitches, it signifies the importance of coaches). The HKFA can consider sending elite coaches to overseas or connecting the local clubs with overseas coaches network.
    - Send young gifted players to overseas academy so that they will consider footballer as career. (e.g. Tan Chun Lok is a good example. Given his England journey, he is now able to establish himself in the national level with a young age)
    - Enhance the local match competitiveness (e.g. Invite non-HK teams to play in cup if having them to play in PL is controversy)
    - Continue to enhance HK national coach calibre. Very often, HK players can improve tremendously under the right guidance. (e.g. Chan Siu Ki became a better player after his trial at Tottenham). Especially, HK players might not have enough specialty trainings at club and it might be more cost effective if the HKFA hires a tentative specialty coach during off season, for instance, finishing)

    Thanks for spending your team reading my comments. Hope that HK football can continue to evolve under your management.

    Best,
    bobby

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Bobby,
    Thank you for your detailed email and excellent suggestions. I will reply in more detail next week but for now, I just wanted to thank you for your interest in HK football!
    Regards,
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear Bobby,
    Once again thanks for your positive comments and suggestions.
    You are right that there are a lot of good things happening that tend to go under the radar. For example our grass roots programmes, youth development activities, women's football, coach education, referee development are all making significant progress. This is largely due to the enthusiastic and passionate staff we have here now. I am proud of them and the work they do. The HK Team and the Premier League are obviously our showcase products but the work of the HKFA is not confined to these areas alone.
    Personally I think the main area of weakness remains professional football in HK. We have done lots of work to help to improve this such as the introduction of the PL and increased marketing but the truth is that some of our clubs are in reality 'teams'not clubs. We have not been able to secure the kind of funding for professional football as we have for the other areas of our work and I sympathise with the clubs because it is difficult for them to raise the money necessary to run a professional club. We try and cooperate with them and we have negotiated on their behalf collective insurance policies, broadcasting arrangements etc. As I mentioned in a previous response it actually costs the HKFA HK$5m every season to run the Premier League so we are subsidising the clubs heavily.
    We have monthly communications meetings with them and our Competitions and Club Licencing Divisions meet with them regularly in between.
    In terms of fan engagement we have just engaged FIFA and AFC to work with us to develop a communications strategy, our clubs and other stakeholders will be involved in developing actions to create better channels of communications and build on the existing initiatives such as our facebook, instagram and youtube channels.
    You are right to highlight the importance of coaching. We have already appointed one elite development coach from Japan and we are in the process of recruiting a second overseas coach. These guys will be responsible for working with existing HK Coaches to enhance their skills and this will include working with the clubs particularly to help with the establishment of club academies.
    We have also employed a strength and conditioning specialist who is also available to the clubs. For example we have bough GPS technology and that is available for the clubs to use if they want.
    As you can see there is lots going on and we will continue to strive to improve things. I appreciate the feedback I get through this blog so thanks again for your interest.
    Regards,
    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your response and thanks for being honest. :)
      Sure I understand that HKFA has broader duties than just HKPL. From my observation, there are at least two kinds of audience. The mass audience probably only cares the national team. And there is another group of people, who care about HK football so much that they would follow what's going on in HK football. Namely, any professional related to HK football, fans. At least for me, I am interested in seeing quarterly highlights from HKFA with any open format depending on the budget.
      I understand the frustration to modernize HK football. I am not surprised if some club owners share the same view. It is not an easy problem although I can see the progress. In my opinion, local clubs are very hard to establish itself like the foreign clubs given they rarely breakeven financially.
      Good luck and Cheers,
      bobby

      Delete
  17. Hi Mark,
    I just saw you in this Kitchee and Tung Chi Ying promotion video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg4JxHZifvg

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. it's nice post for online casino, Please click and sharing.
    บาคาร่า
    goldenslot
    จีคลับ

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please click on this post if you wanna paly with online casino.Thank you.
    ทางเข้าจีคลับ
    บาคาร่า

    ReplyDelete