Let me begin by saying that Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) is an incredible football club.
The team has lost only one match this season, has a winning ratio of more than 80 per cent and have again, convincingly, secured their eighth league title in a row, leaving the rest, bruised and bloodied, in its wake.
It’s a no-brainer really. If you want to spend a great deal of money on a football club, you will need to turn your head towards JDT.
The club clearly looks and plays better than any other football club in the country, if not Southeast Asia.
On every level, JDT is a role model for managing a professional football club.
At this point, I’d love to tell you about the investments they’ve been making beyond the players – the brand new stadium, the backroom professionals, and the glorious football pitch.
Falling on that pitch after a tackle is more comfortable than lying down in bed.
Frankly, everything at JDT is more deluxe and comfortable, come to think of it.
Yet, if you push through their blueprints with your own football club and attempt to emulate the ‘role model’, you are actually more likely to fall into a financial trap.
The reason is not so confusing.
JDT spends approximately the combined amount of money spent by the five clubs under them every season.
There is no way any other club in Malaysia could match that. They just don’t have the itch that would drive them to blow the bank and make that kind of investment.
But still, there are the bullish few who think that they are capable of meeting the returns on investment and the glory of being crowned Malaysian Super League champions with just one-fifth of what JDT spends.
One explanation could be that these people are high on confidence or had divine visions of being driven around the city in an open bus, lifting the trophy, with hundreds of thousands of fans chanting and cheering from the roadside.
For those who want to have a go at being JDT, but with only 20 per cent of what JDT has, the story is likely to end with them spending a foolish 80 to 90 per cent of their club revenues on the players’ salaries alone.
On many occasions, such a strategy is self-defeating. It does very little in their battle for football supremacy and contributes to the destruction of the club’s financial sustainability.
As a professional football club, JDT is certainly what we must aspire to be.
But unless you’re funded by U2’s Bono and the World Bank, you’re better off finding a new role model – one that eats rice and tempeh.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.