Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is this "Everton-gate" ?

Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Shabery Cheek has come under fire for his so called Everton deal. Here is a take by Jaiho Malaysia (

SO, tell us Mr Minister, what is the Everton deal going to cost the Sports Ministry,
viz-a- viz the taxpayers?Reliable sources say, it’s going to be a staggering 1.3 million pounds or the ringgit equivalent of RM7.15 million a year.

Is that true Sir? If it is, then let me tell you that it’s a marked-up fashioned to fill someone/ones’ coffers. I know what it costs as we had worked with Everton when I was in event and sports management.

Let me tell you Sir, that the whole development plan shouldn’t cost more than 700,000 pounds or RM3.8 million a year. If you don’t believe me, I can run it and manage it for you at this cost.

Not that I want the job, but I want to show my convictions here, that I am not merely firing from all barrels from my hips.Cheating the rakyat is already a mortal sin, but robbing them blind is cruel to the core.

By the way Mr Minister, I was told that you travelled by Air Asia on your own expense. But really Sir, I don’t see how relevant is that fact that was so eloquently explained by a prominent in my blog to the issue under the scope now.

Seriously, it doesn’t matter whether you travelled by Air Asia, MAS or even took the slow boat to the UK. It still doesn’t answer the question on how much is the Government spending on this project.What is there to hide if there is nothing to. As a taxpayer I deserve an answer. You politicians just can’t come beating our trail and knocking on our doors when you want our votes, and then when we voters demand transparency and answers, we get the cold shoulder.

Did you sit with Ray Hall who is the Academy Manager or did you meet Neil Dewship who is the Technical Manager for 9-19 years of age? Did they share with you their vision and mission of the academy in Malaysia? You said many clubs have approached you, read here who they are. What now, all of s sudden, clubs are approaching you because we have 20 players who are in the same rank with Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas.

You mean everyone wants a Malaysian player. Mr Minister, you have RM10 million to help develop Malaysian football, and I bet you believe you have all the answers. But let me give you an idea on how you can spend part of that money.

Have you heard of the Piala Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah that goes on for 8 months, they play football every Saturday and Sunday. Do you know something that league has no money now, all they are asking for is RM 700,000. " It has 200 players playing every week without fail. Did your so-called experts at NSC inform you about this league? Why don’t you adopt the tournament?

So many other programs are held all over the country, they are starving or dying for the lack of money and funding, and find it hard to continue. Just like the Ken Barnes grassroots programme that was developing players from ages 12-17. NSC was supporting it for a few years, but has stopped now. And this programme had links with the top EPL clubs, having sent some 15 players for attachments in clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Birmingham, and Wigan."

Really Mr Minister, you need to speak with the real experts, not those who masquerading as one. Let’s do the math here Sir, if you are going to use up about RM7 million on Everton from your RM10 million grant from the Government, that will leave you with 3 million.Let me guess, the remaining RM3 million will be allocated to the expense account of the National Sports Council (NSC), whose so-called experts will use for travel to monitor our players. Honestly Sir, this whole thing smacks of a scam and a classic case for the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency (MACC).

Sir, you can avoid the subject now, you can even pretend we don’t exist. But please don’t make the mistake of under-estimating the influence of blogosphere, please do not trivialise our impact on voters. Statistics will show that voters are turned in more to the web than to the mainstream media.So be a good public servant, and give us the figures. That’s all I am asking.

I have no intention of standing for elections Mr. Minister, if that is what your reaction to this piece will get. All I ask for is the truth and accountability as there are eagles out there who intend to devour the RM10 million your Ministry will spend on football. Let us not be taken for a ride, for I know that the prophet is never believed on his own land, but do we want to be continued to be colonised?

And here is a take by Malaysian Sports (ssdhaliwal.blogspot)

My apology to readers for failing to post with regards to my interview with the right honourable Sports Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek the other day on the Everton FC tie up. Now that the dust has settled, somewhat lukewarm reception from the main stream media, I am intrigued by what has been posted by fellow blogger Jaiho on this issue.

Together with two journalists from the mainstream media, I had the privilage of meeting up with the Sports Minister at the Bukit Kiara Club on Monday. I must go on record to say that this was only the second time I have cross swords with the Minister since his appointment as Sports Minister.

Right from the onset I could sense that he was reserved in his answers as he had met us before taking to the court and was already told that we intended to ask him about the tie up with Everton FC.

The Minister's initial reaction:

"I met with officials from Everton FC and we are working on a proposal. There are some technical matters and I have briefed the FAM President who is receptive of the idea. All parties, KBS, FAM and the Education Ministry will form a committee to look into this plan and I am impressed with what I saw there with regards to developing football."

The Minister was then asked on the attachment of the Under 23 players and what this so-called development initiative with Everton had to do with it.

"It will be part of the deal, our players will join the reserves team in everton FC. Let's not talk about adaptability, not getting nasi lemak and so forth."

Next came the question with regards to what the tie up will cost to the Malaysian public, and this is where the Minister started getting defesive especially when told there were several similiar proposals this decade.

When I raised the question that there had been proposal in the past provided to both the Ministry and the NSC, the Minister denied any knowledge of it.

But NSC Director General Dato Zolpkles Embong who was seated on the floor intervened and said, " yes we received a proposal a few years ago from a former athlete but we did not have the money then. Now it is different as we have the money."

And that is when I offered the Minister info on the past proposals as I made it clear that I was not against the idea but merely wanting him to be careful of people who were about to cash in on the situation. This was the Minister's rebuke.

"I know what I am doing. Just because some of you are against it, shall I drop the whole idea? If this is the case then why should I bother. You know I went to London at my own expense, not utilising government money."

When I replied that "good for you" for flying to London at his own expense, little did I expect him to continue harping on the issue. It came about when I asked the Minister wat the deal was worth and was it true that attachment of our Under 23 was inclusive of the deal.

"We were invited to Everton and held discussions with them. And there are other offers too and it has nothing to do with CYC. We are negotiating the figure. The asking price is around 1.3 million pounds per yer but that is not finalised yet.

When told that past proposal were much lower then what had been quoted, the Minister once again went on the defensive.

"That maybe the case in the past, I do not know. What were the proposals, I am not aware of them and really if you feel that it is not a good idea, shall I drop it just because you are questioning it. You people are against it right from the begining."

I clarified that it was die to the fact that he maybe taken for a ride and that he should open up the old files to see if the deal was marked up, the Minister would have none of it, not even when told that copies of past proposals could be made available to him for comparision purposes.

When asked what were the other clubs/teams that opened their doors, once again the Minister refused to reveal details and walked off.

1 comment:

  1. Uncle Joe,
    Thank you for reproducing excerpts from Jai ho and Dhaliwal. I have to confess that I do not know much about the Everton deal. The figure that you gave RM 7.15 mllion a year ( with a full RM 10 million allocated for this project, and the allegations made by Jaiho that it should not costs RM 700, 000 a year is no trifling matter.
    There is either a miscalcuation by Jaiho or our Minister is misled by those around him on the costs. This cannot be because he was there to negotiate the contract with Everton's Top Guns.
    Can perhaps Jaiho give us a break down how he comes to the figure of RM 700K ? He may not have factored many invisibles that ought to be taken into account but has not been taken into account.
    We the Malaysian sporting public are touched by the impassionate plea of funds that are lacking for the Piala Sultan Hamid Ahmah Shah and the 200 ought players who plays every Saturday and Sundays. Really, are we comparing apples and apples. I fully support the ideas that Jaiho made, that some of the monies should be pumped in to encourage this Local league.
    The arguments that I read so far and the impression from the Minister and the MSN that they are not talking at the same wave length with Jaiho. They seem to compare their elite squad as young thorough bred whereas you league boys are donkeys not worthy of even any considerations.
    All said Uncle Joe, I hope Jaiho can give a breakdown of the RM 700,000 and then we can decide if there are sunstance in the allegations.
    Finally the Minister should not slither away, if he stand for 1Malaysia and also if he is open and transparent, no questions is too hard to answer. We the sporting public can decide if the monies are well spent or not.