Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Eka to feature in Bangkok "& West" league

This article is from Vinnie at his Korat FC site. I have left his personal opinion in as it greatly matches my own. The only thing to add is that it's strange the new team Hua Hin City have not been included. Most likely they will be added later on, causing another reshuffle. The number of teams in D2 is now comical and the clear answer is to create a new division.

That said, there is still some uncertainty over the whole future of Nonthaburi FC following the floods and some rumours in circulation since then. I hope it's nothing more than a misunderstanding.

BKK has pointed out that Keasetstart (who are not going to win their play-off group) will not be classed in the same region as Eka, but Muang Kan of Kanchanaburi (a good 1 1/2 - 2 hour drive away) is. Hmmmm.....



Here are the anticipated Regional League Line-ups for 2012.
The current top two (Krabi, Korat, Ratchaburi, Pattalung) from each of the ongoing play-off groups aren't included, but one or more of Phitsanulok, Loei, Rayong and Roiet could still be promoted. We also don't know which clubs will be relegated from Division 1 nor which clubs will be promoted from the non-league Royal Cup. Makes you wonder why they didn't wait until all 2012 entrants have been finalised. Anyway, here are the line-ups:

Bangkok & West Division

1) Muang Kan F.C (Kanchanaburi)

2) Samut Sakon

3) Samut Prakan United

4) Bangkok Christian

5) Globlex

6) Nonthaburi

7) Assumption Thonburi 'The Pak' F.C

8) Chamchuri United

9) Rajvithi

10) Kasem Bundit University

11) Pathum Thani F.C

12) Relegated Division 1 side

13) Royal Cup champions

14) Ratchaburi currently competing in the play-offs but likely to go up


This endless annual yearly expansion of the league is not the right solution to the problem of how to accommodate the country's growing number of clubs. As it stands we will have 81 teams competing for four promotion places – one promotion place for every 20.25 teams. Immediately above in Division 1, eighteen teams compete for three promotion places – one promotion place for every six teams.

Two other better solutions suggest themselves. The best would be to have two divisions at the Division 1 level as was the case in 2007. Two eighteen-team divisions with four relegated from each would provide eight promotion places for the Regional League. Furthermore, the Regional League itself would be smaller as teams would be required to make up the new twin-league Division 1. Two teams could be promoted from each Division 1 league meaning four relegated from the TPL. The problem with this idea is that it requires the agreement of the TPL, a separate entity to the Regional League.

The other idea was genuinely being considered by the Regional League and TPL and may happen in the future. It is for a 'TPL Division 2' or 'Regional League Premier'; that is, an eighteen-team divison below the current Division 1 made up of the top Regional League sides. So the league pyramid would consist of three eighteen-team divisions with the Regional League comprising the fourth tier.

Either solution is better than what the Regional League have gone with: limitless expansion causing an annual dilution of the quality of the league as a whole.


Vinnie also lists every other regional division and line up in the original post. The second option he ponders in his editorial is essentially inserting a third division (D2) between D1 and the regional league, making the latter Regional League D3 and this is the idea I strongly support.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Coach leaves

Nonthaburi have parted ways with coach Sunti. The decision is really no surprise with Eka's underachieving last season. Non-existent tactics, random substitutions and capricious transfers were the norm throughout the year.

Nonthaburi offered the coach's job to Rene Desaeye one year ago. He is now back on the job market. If the club owner is serious about achieving success, he knows what needs to be done.

Nonthaburi on the rise

Wat Boat Stadium this week

Outsiders could be forgiven  for thinking the great Thai flood was over. Politicians are smiling again, the photos of people walking through water are now on page two instead of the front and MTU managed to stage a game against Army United this week, though perhaps they regret that now. Reality is different. The heart of Nonthaburi - including Wat Boat and my own village -  remain under a heavy blanket of brown, stagnant,  repugnant water and the smug smiles of politicos are purely because inner Bangkok has stayed dry.

It's as though time has stood still for the province (as well as neighbouring Pathum Thani) and though - as one Thai columnist noted recently - Thais are not great planners but excellent at coping, the clear jubilation of the government at Bangkok's rescue has been perceived as disregard for the many, many folk who are still face health hazards, financial ruin and homlessness.

Tempers have finally boiled over in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani  and a number of protests and demands have been made. It's started a domino effect with other areas staging similar protests such as blocking roads, forcibly opening flood barriers and setting deadlines.

Although I find it hard to stomach groups of people essentially saying: "Do what we want or we'll do something violent", I also find it hard not to sympathise with the indignation of the Nonthaburi people, especially since I - like so many Eka fans - have been hit hard by this disaster. Unlike most others though, I'm fortunate enough to be comfortable and I'm not being ignored by my own government when I need help the most.