Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Premiership football comes home

Totally out of the blue, it seems the Thai Premier League is coming to Saraburi as Bangkok-based Osotsapa FC have agreed to move.

Moving franchises (or teams as we say in English) is something I'm ordinarily completely opposed to.

On this occasion, however, I will forget my ethics, and throw my weight behind the move, should it go through, because:
1. Saraburi is my hometown and, although we have 3rd tier side Saraburi FC, I've always said the town is big enough for a Premiership side.

2. There are so many teams in Bangkok, a move away will help the club develop a distinct identity and group of fans, rather than just being Just Another Bangkok Club.

3. Selfishly, this is my town which means I'll finally get the chance to watch top level football in Thailand.

4. They are a good side - currently sitting in 4th place, just 2 points from the summit. The team has also played in the AFC Cup (the Asian equivalent of the UEFA Cup).
Once the pitch and stadium are renovated (and I assume we're talking about this one) they'll be over.

Congrats Osotsapa Saraburi FC and welcome to the neighbourhood.

**I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this actually takes place, Thailand has a horrible habit of not delivering on its promises or announcements from time to time.


Martyn said...

Jon I hope your Premiership dream comes true and yes it will be good for Thai football to spread the teams around the country. What level of attendance do you think the home games will attract.

Ben Shingleton said...

Excellent stuff Jonny, keep us informed! Looking forward to some match reports....

Jon said...

Hi Martyn,

Agree, it's far healthy to spread to clubs around - a number of locals are buzzing already.

Hard to gauge the crowds. The team is moving to the local 5,000 seater stadium, their BKK residence was only 3,000. There are enough residents to easily fill 5,000 - we shall see.

Hey Ben,

Match reports are a possibility, although I said that about Saraburi FC and its gone nowhere, yet.

Martyn said...

Jon a 5000 crowd would be a big plus for the Saraburi team and the gate size if it reaches that would pleasantly surprise me. Thailand needs decent crowds at its matches to stimulate interest, sponsorship and take its football to the next level. I'll look forward to your match reports and perhaps you could do a interview at the training ground.

tum|bler said...

It's a shame that despite the recent trends toward relocating to the provinces, virtually all clubs in the TPL are still located in the central and eastern regions not far from Bangkok. The furthest place you get is probably Rayong (correct me if I'm wrong). I understand that there already are clubs located in places further apart from Bangkok but most of these clubs are lurking in the lower divisions. It'd be nice to see places like Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Udorn have their own TPL teams too.