I got a kick (pun fully intended) out of the front page of the Nation for Monday, March 5.
The dominant story is about how Thai football (soccer) players are going off to play in Vietnam for mere money (spit!). Writer Kitinan Sanguansak moans that:
Neighbours are skimming our talent…
It seems ridiculous for a country regarded as a kingpin in the region to have players and coaches ply their trade in neighbouring countries. It is a bitter pill that football development in Thailand is now lagging behind countries like Singapore and Vietnam, who 20 or 30 years ago were on the bottom rung of the football ladder in Southeast Asia. That was later rectified by the poaching of top Thai players and coaches for the leagues of both countries – the latest being dynamic midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao, who moved to V-League giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai for about 200,000 baht a month for three years.
Well, that’s The Nation’s feature for the day.
Down below, paying Kitinan’s salary, is the advertisement suggesting that Thais pay to fly off for a three-day holiday in the Land of Poachers.
The irony gets richer though. Deep into his argument, as the foam begins to fleck the keyboard and he gets really wound up, Kitinan launches into the favourite whine of them all in Thailand.
Thai players should play in Thailand instead of going overseas. But the local (corrupt, horribly mismanaged, exploitive) pro football league can’t make a profit, and therefore can’t pay the players like the sneaky, underhanded, talent robbers of the East. And the solution?
Given that the league cannot survive without financial support from the government . . .
Yes, that’s right. The Thai government has to found, build and support a pro football league and pay the players world-class salaries.
There is no way anyone could make this up.