MFL Saga: Why Kevin left, Broadcast rights and mounting debts.

So why did Kevin Ramalingam resign?

It was a futile and lame attempt by the Malaysian Football League Board in their press statement that was the formal announcement, some 16 hours after this website ( its not a blog for heavens sake) revealed it.

The statement stated that the resignation was accepted as Kevin wanted to pursue other career options.

No one worth their salt will but that lane of an excuse dished out and frankly the MFL should be ashamed for their immature attempt to hide truth.

From what sources revealed. Kevin cited ill health as the main reason for his sudden departure.

And yes Kevin it seems has been in poor health of late, the reasons I am aware off but out of respect for his medical privacy will not reveal.

Suffice to say that Kevin has a symptom that will any individual.

So why did MFL not say on medical and personal health reasons is indeed baffling.

Ok, now that Kevin is history as so far as MFL is concerned, let’s get to the nitty gritty of the financial issues surrounding MFL that only this writer has been highlighting since the termination of the multi million ringgit deal with Telekom Malaysia this February.

With one strike of the pen, largely due to the policy of the new government, TM ended the contract, and that left MFL RM60 million short of the projected income.

With TV3 no longer keen to invest in broadcasting rights, a deal to offset their outstanding payment from the previous season with production charges, it meant that no money was coming in.

In February 2018, the MFL signed a major sponsorship and media rights deal with TM, an agreement it claimed was the biggest to date in domestic sport.

That left MFL with RM10 million supposedly from the mobile media rights broadcast partner Iflix.

As the broadcast partner, unifi TV showcased all MFL events and competitions, which include the Piala Sumbangsih, Liga Super, Piala Malaysia and Piala FA, as well as provided conditional broadcast benefits for the Liga Premier, Challenge Cup and all other matches.

Effectively the broadcast rights money went down the drain completely for 2019 with exception for the RM10 million.

Now if one was to take a deep look at the fine print in the agreement between the stakeholders and MFL, they, the stakeholders were entitled to the money from broadcast rights.

In simple terms, they were to split the income from the broadcast rights.

But if there is no RM60 million from TM, it means that only the RM10 million was to be shared, or so one in the right frame of mind will imagine.

But no no, the stakeholders demanded their share of the grant which they claimed they were entitled to based on the announcement earlier in the year that they will get RN3 million each for Super League and RM1.5 million for Premier League.

And the wait started, from March till July and then in August the first payment of RM1.5 million for Super League teams plus RM500,000 for Premier League teams was made.

And suddenly all was well, the critics put their guns back into their holsters and it was a case of all is well.

The next payment was to be within a month, but dragged till November. Many got agitated once again with murmurs of discontentment.

A bit of a back track.

It was on July 4 that MFL provides a media release that an agreement was reached with Enervive Consultancy Sdn Bhd .

Till today no one has been told what the figure or fiber details of the deal are financially.

Most were of the opinion that with this deal, the broadcast matter was resolved and lucrative, and that grants will be paid through a special arrangement of advance payment for 2020.

But a word of caution – not once was this stated anywhere as it’s merely an assumption.

Moving on, it was somewhere in September that MFL publicly acknowledged they received a loan from HRH Sultan of Johor.

It was a loan, in all probability to cover the first payment of grant to the teams, but with a loan there obviously is a term fixed for repayment,

So comes November, the noose tightens, no money coming in from any title sponsor as products cannot be sold with season over, grants outstanding and loan repayment pending,

Let’s look at what is owed by MFL.

A sum of RM18 million loan from HRH, another RM18 million bring RM1.5 million to 12 Super League teams, a further RM5 million to the 10 Premier League teams – so we have a debt of RM41 million that we know off.

But there is a silver lining though and you read it gets first, as one normally does but never credits me.

TM has offered a new deal of RM30 million per season to MFL at the sane condition it was giving RM60 million earlier.

So the offer is on the table, the MFL Board needs to decide.

Now here is it bluntly.

The agreement the stakeholders signed with MFL is for Broadcast Rights share as grants, not the commercial rights.

It must be stated that previously the deal as the broadcast partner, unifi TV showcased all MFL events and competitions, which include the Piala Sumbangsih, Liga Super, Piala Malaysia and Piala FA, as well as provided conditional broadcast benefits for the Liga Premier, Challenge Cup and all other matches.

So it’s RM30 million that can be shared.

The title sponsorship with Shoppee, as well as other sponsors like 100PPlus, Maybank, Air Asia are Mereka commercial deals, not to be confused with broadcast deals .

Then there is the RM10 million from Iflix that’s outstanding but a little bird did whisper even that seems to have issues of late.

Realistically we are looking at a RM40 million deal on the table.

Oh yes. On the new CEO, a person it seems has been identified, perhaps the dual President Hamidin might tell a bit upon his return from Hong Kong.

I know some details, so come talk to me over dialysis.

Till then, go hunt.