Last Wednesday, members of the media received an email informing them about Kuala Lumpur United Football Club’s latest signings – Safee Sali and Hadin Azman.
The email was signed off by a familiar name in the fraternity – Devinder Singh.
Devinder, a freelance sports journalist and a hardcore Kuala Lumpur fan, is now KL United Football Club’s media and communications executive.
His appointment, which officially begins on Jan 1, has got journalists and fans smiling as some have dubbed him Kuala Lumpur’s “best signing”.
The former accountant who went on to pursue his passion for writing is best known for compiling football statistics.
“Right after Stanley Bernard’s appointment as KL United FC chief executive officer was made public two weeks ago, he called me in for a chat. We spoke about his offer and I had to say yes,” revealed Devinder, 42.
“I’ve been a long-time Kuala Lumpur supporter. While I’ve been comfortable as a freelance journalist and never really considered a full time job, this was a natural decision and one that I was looking forward to.”
So what will Devinder do with KL United FC?
“I’ll oversee media-related matters and create content for the club’s social media and online platforms. As for the programme book ‘Sampai Mati Kuala Lumpur’ that I initiated, it will now be part of KL United FC but I will need to look at the finer details to produce the coming editions.”
Stanley had Devinder in mind as the duo worked closely in the past. Devinder had provided data pertaining to players, past match results and statistics to football commentators, including Stanley, who was previously with the Malaysia Football League (MFL). Stanley was also MFL head of talent acquisition.
Devinder, who hails from Wangsa Maju, is no stranger to the ills of football management in Malaysia. While efforts to privatise teams in the domestic leagues next season are seen as a starting point to inject professionalism into the administration, it will be a long journey before Malaysian football teams is run are managed like professional business entities.
Asked how it felt like to be on the “other side” of the fence, Devinder said: “Me being part of KL United FC … it has yet to sink in. Even Stanley has been busy with the privatisation process as we have been gearing up for the new season.”
“I officially start on Jan 1 but I’m helping out in the meantime. I’m looking forward to a good time with the team.”
KL United FC hopes to impress in the Super League next season. Safee, who last played for Kuala Lumpur 15 years ago, returned to the city side after signing a one-year contract. The 36-year-old will help boost KL United FC’s attacking option while Hadin, 26, signed a two-year deal.