Corporate Social Negligence!

Viva Kerala and Kerala Football….

Posted in Football, India, Kerala, soccer, sports by clash on July 7, 2008

Viva Kerala

There are supporters, the only problem is that their attention is slightly skewed outwards, they literally don’t have anything to love about in Kerala football. That latest distraction being the thrashing by Punjab in Santosh Trophy, they piped us 5-0. No more is there a Vijayan, Sathayan, Chakco or Sharaf Ali to save us. There are of course fringe names, O.K Javed, Asif Saheer and so on, that is not enough, they are no colossal figures.

N.P Pradeep is the current biggest thing in  Indian Football scene from Kerala, but so detached that he is right now, he is more of an “Indian” player for all Keralaites right now. He has indeed a long way to go, and i wish him all the best for his future, one day i reckon he will be rewarded for all his abilities. In fact he is well rewarded monetary wise, I-league footballers don’t live in penury anymore. ( but chennai League players might)

Viva Kerala matches for the last i-league’s edition generated decent crowd presence, it is not anymore those eras where spectators used to fill in the stands. The stadium has increased it capacity but fans have deserted football in the last decade. When all the buzz about Bob Houghton, the Indian Football team, N.P. Pradeep and State associations happen in the national media, there is a slumber in Kerala Football.

I constantly keep my self updated  with Indian Football through a broadcast that i created with Google Reader. I hardly to get to see any news about Kerala Football. The last time when the feeds were not greyed out for kerala Football were during the AFC Vision India program launch at kozhikode and then in the Santosh Trophy super debacle under the tutelage of Victor Manjilla who disguised the Calicut University Team (Inside Information) as a Kerala team. Super, a befitting blow on our face as to realise and understand what football is now and grow up.

The biggest football tourney in Kerala right now is the yearly  E.K Nayanar Football tourney conducted in Kannur, which sort of is an overt brandishing act of corportocracy that has crept in to CPIM. Last time around there were serious allegations about the money that was pumped in for this tournament, they claim it was from an spurious business man based in Singapore – Pharis Aboobacker. That shows how much of a spectacle it is.

Kozhikkode which used to attract huge crowds for “antiquated” tournaments like Sait Nagjee, never witness any good football matches these days other than the Kozhikkode 1st Division league matches and the occasional Viva kerala matches when they were in i-league. Everybody is resorted to television for good football in Euro cup or EPL. And obviously attention is slightly skewed outwards.

I still believe Viva could have capitalized the situation, when they played in Kozhikode, they could have earned the respect of this football loving town with a little bit of good PR at their disposal. Those kind of attempts are never seen from the so called Premier club of Kerala. In fact dreading stories of how they abandoned their Goal keeper who met with an accident – breaking his leg while he was playing for them spread in the local news papers. And now that they have been relegated to the 1-league 2, we will not hear anything about them.

For Viva to be the foremost club that a Keralite can look up to, they are putting up a pathetic show with these kind of unfavourable news spreading in the media. There were in fact other allegations too against them after they axed a bunch of  players who helped them qualify for i-league. That makes them a spurious prospect to work your career out  with.

While drawing inspiration from Santosh Trophy which Bob Houghton has called for scrapping ; terming it antiquated and unwanted , Punjab the champions of this edition of Santosh Trophy has been creating quite a buzz in the Indian Football scene for something, other than what every one has to speak about – JCT Mills and its players (notably Sunil Chetri) in  the i-league.

Few weeks prior to the Santosh trophy victory, news popped up in my feed reader that JCT Mills have reached a understanding with Wolverhampton Wanderers to promote football in the region . These are indeed efforts that keep football in the news and that quietly raise it status in a society. These kind of Initiatives helps the club in offering different prospects for upcoming players in terms of dreams and opportunities, if everything works out favorably. A link which seems to have vanished now revealed that HAL scouts picked up a J&k player with a monthly salary of 25,000, that is marvelous.

Kerala too created some news but that was of their clueless display against Services and Punjab. The same is the case with the premier club in Kerala too, Viva after sliding back in to i-league 2, they rarely produced any buzz and the latest i have heard about them is that their couple of players joined Pune.FC. great!

This kind of complacency in terms of creating news and going in to slumber wont help them in having a prolonged presence in Indian football. Nascent clubs like Mumbai FC, Pune FC and various other academies are trying aggressively to assert themselves in this not so bullish business area. I presume Viva still has time in regrouping and asserting themselves before such sort of a not so large footballing affair crops up from kerala.

Clubs like Premier Tyres, Cochin Port Trust, Kerala Police, F. C Cochin have all donned the scene and faded away without leaving any trace. Probably the lone survivor from this spurious group is SBT, which has least acceptance as a “state team”.

Kerala police (Vijayan, Pappachan, Sharaf Ali) was the best loved among these, while i am sure there were great hopes pinned to the so called first professional club : FC Cochin, which met with a sad and ignominious death. I am quite convinced  that in near future, a club even big as Viva will not emerge from Kerala.

A discussion in an Orkut community for Viva Kerala says that money is what is eluding them.  This is quite a valid reason, it is almost impossible to raise funds for a football club in India.  But in Viva’s case there is a lot of mis management too that has happened, because right from its inception, there has been controversies brewing about players, coaches and so on. Quite contrary to the pathetic situation they potray, national trends do unveil on a smaller scale, there are corporate sponsorships for football. The Goan Santosh Trophy team was sponsored by Budweiser. There is no need to leap over to Goa to asses the situation as the Kozhikode City 1st division league is sponsored by Videocon!

The discussion thread also reveals that Viva almost signed a deal with Hutch last season but that got dissolved as Hutch was bought over by Vodafone. The sponsorship deal getting dissolved was sad but the attendance had to do a lot with how Viva projected them as a club, it doesnt hold so much good will among the public. Kozhikode is still one of those cities in Kerala which will draw a decent crowd for good football matches and the problem was Viva never could get in to the good books of the society.

A football club needs to build a mutual relationship with a society for its survival in India. Football in India is not a game where the whole family throng in the stadium to catch a glimpse of Sachin, Saurav and now joining this list – Sharukh Khan in real. It is not a game that has invaded our living room, it supporters are niche.

I am sure, in kozhikode  if SEPT plays a match, it will draw a decent crowd and the 1st division league matches also witness decent crowd. Viva lacked support in terms of spectators in a football friendly place like kozhikode because of the lack of good will they could create and their pathetic PR record.  The former kerala police team easily could graduate in to the hearts of Keralites, it instilled a sense of pride and with many victories , joy too.

It will be a tad unfair, if i square everything to gloom and doom. Football marks a 30% percent  growth  every year  in India . AFC’s Vision India project is employing a school league in Kerala, which will only help our football, if it materialises and run.

Viva could also join the bandwagon and needs to spot talents when they are young, establish an academy, create some good will and gradually earn a place in the heart of every football lover in kerala.  An academy system will help them in future, i think it is better they develop talent from their neighbourhoods than spending exorbitantly on foreigners, most of whom are average footballers ,who eventually migrate to some other clubs – Goan or Bengali after a season .

I wonder if Viva’s business men owners are to pre-occupied with  business that they hardly give a damn about the club and its functioning.

Now a little bit of marketing :

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5 Responses

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  1. منتدى كوره said, on July 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    thank you .

  2. saintfrank said, on August 1, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Dear sir/ma,

    To whom it may concern, am writing this email in desire to play football for any club here is Asia . I ma O Saint frank Clifford by name. Currently leaving in New Delhi in India I just arrive here in India few months ago, my main reason of coming here is to find a suitable football club to be acquainted with. I was once playing for 2nd Division in my country Nigeria as a right forwarder, some time my coach also play me a central midfielder. I we be really glad if I can get any club in any part of Asia who we like to try me out. Because I don’t so much believe in talking I believe in force and what you can do when’re in the field, I can play for 90 minute’s any day any time in as much as am injury free. Bellow is my email address and interested club shouldn’t be waste time to call on me and I we be ready to prove my professionalizing and time any day, +919958709020 , Hope to hear from your reply as soon as possible bye.

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  3. Porush said, on February 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    nice post on football kerela ..

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  4. Avery Rubenfeld said, on April 26, 2011 at 6:43 am

    You ought to take part in a competition for one of the greatest blogs on the internet. I’ll suggest this site!

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