Following FAM’s announcement of the Harimau Muda participation in the Slovakian League, I opted to wait before blogging on the issue as I wanted to check on details before writing or commenting about it.

While I applaud the decision by the FAM Exco, it is somewhat peculiar that certain details have been omitted by either the main stream media or by FAM big wigs themselves at the press conference held to make this announcement.

So here are the details and from then on it is for you to figure out if the participation was an after thought or was it another of the now infamous FAM methods of salvaging one of their major blunders.

There are 12 teams in this First Division League that commenced on 11th of July 2009. However one team, ŽP Šport Podbrezová, withdrew and did not play any match so far. The team that heads the standings is FK Púchov.

The teams play each other three times, and as of the break in the league on November 28 last year, some of the teams have played between 17 to 18 matches. Hence each team will be required to play another 12 to 14 matches I was informed through my source in Slovakia.

That means effectively, Harimau Muda is taking the place of ŽP Šport Podbrezová, who withdrew from the begining, rendering it to be a 11 team league. But the Slovakian FA continued the league as the fixtures were already drawn up.

So now Harimau Muda are expected to fill in the gaps left by ŽP Šport Podbrezová in the fixtures nd going by what is listed in the Slovakian FA website, it is believed the fixtures for Harimau Muda, the 14 matches that they are to play will be as follows:

27th February v FK Mesto Prievidza
6th March v Slovan Duslo Šaľa
13th March v MFK Ružomberok B
20th March v MFK Zemplín Michalovce
27th March v MFK Tatran AOS L. Mikuláš
3rd April v MFK Dolný Kubín
10th April v FC ViOn Z. Moravce
17th April v AS Trenčín
24th April v FK Púchov
1st May v LAFC Lučenec
8th May v MŠK R. Sobota
15th May v FK Mesto Prievidza
22nd May v Slovan Duslo Šaľa
29th May v MFK Ružomberok B

So effectively it is not a true case of participation in a league as the team will merely fill up the void created by the club that withdrew and cannot possibly catch up with the 11th ranked team at the moment, that is Slovan Duslo Šaľa who have 15 points thus far.

It is now down to just how much it will cost for te team to be based there in Slovakia, and if my memory serves me right it is something between the range of USD45 to USD55 per person per day.

So if a squad of 30 are sent to be based in Slovakia, it will cost somewhat in the region of USD40,500 toUSD49,500 ( RM137,000 to RM168,000) per month with a total of USD121,500 to USD148,500 ( RM RM413,000 to RM504,000) for the three months.

And this does not include the allowances plus flights and other costs such as training venues, internal travel and hosting of home matches.

A big price to pay for leaving the team out of the Super League?