Speaking at a meeting to discuss the club’s future, FC Phuket interim president Naruebet ‘Ko Lek’ Aryupong urged the public to help save the football club.
Though the FC Phuket interim management team offered to let other interested parties take over management, little headway seemed to have been made into who that new management could be.
A group from Thao Thepkrasattri-Thao Srisoonthorn FC, led by Prasit Jantawong, proposed that they run the team with the support of another three football clubs; Nakorn Pathom FC, Osotspa FC and Chonburi group.
But questions were raised whether that proposition would even be possible.
When asked, Mr Prasit could not present any documents that could back his claims about an alliance with the other three clubs.
Mr Prasit was temporary dismissed from the meeting to allow the second interested group to present the proposition.
Mathee Kongdang, an FC Phuket fan, proposed that FC Phuket should allow the fans to be a part of the club by selling small shares to raise money. Several other Thai clubs, including Hat Yai FC and Chiang Mai FC have adopted similar approaches.
He also said that he had some interested sponsors that could pitch in around B10 million.
He explained that the fundraising would occur in the form of share sales. Each share could have a value of B1,000, with a total of 5,000 shares being issued.
If fans jumped on the bandwagon, this could raise B5 million, enough to keep the team afloat for a while, at least until some major sponsors came on board.
He also proposed that in the meantime, while there was no new sponsorship opportunity or management, Ko Lek and his management team should continue in their current roles.
Though some questioned whether the club would have enough time to execute the plan, the idea was supported by fans present at the meeting.
Tawan Sukyiran, a public prosecutor in the Phuket Juvenile Court and former FC Phuket team manager, explained that this would be the most practical idea since Ko Lek knows the job well and can still use his connections to get things done, while others still involved with the club can assist with the fundraising.
The talks were brief as fans seemed to agree to that idea and raised their hands when Mr Tawan asked if that would be how the team should proceed.
They agreed that since January 31 was the deadline for Division 1 teams to confirm their sides with the Thai Premier League, Ko Lek should carry on.
A more in-depth discussion on fundraising and the future management of the club was due to be held yesterday (February 2) at Surakul Stadium. Fans were invited to take part in the meeting.
Ko Lek later said he’s ready to step down if any interested parties with sufficient funds and a solid background are ready to take the job from him.
He explained that there will be no shares transfer on the ruling company FC Phuket 1688 Co Ltd.
The shares in the company will remain under his and two other shareholders’ name. But the new management team will receive a formal letter from his company that grants them permission to manage FC Phuket.
“I have struggled to run the team for the past three years since we first played Division 2 Southern. I hope the new management team will have more resources and don’t have to experience the same issues I have,” Ko Lek said.
“But should that happen, me being one of shareholders of the ruling company, the new management could still return the team rights to me so I can find a way to proceed with the team. This is for the team’s own good.”