Save The B’s: Port B Beat T4 Drop… Maybe

 

The Controversy

 

It wouldn’t be Port if we went a whole two seasons without being deducted points in a relegation or promotion fight! It looked like a win and two draws had been enough to guarantee Port B T4 survival after Dome FC missed out on a chance to take it to the final day, losing 2-1 to Pathumthani University FC on Monday. This is Thai football though, so the potential for tomfoolery and incompetence is almost limitless.

It appears that Port are largely to blame in this rigmarole, having fielded an ineligible player in their last game against Grakcu Sai Mai. Port were reported for the violation by their opponents, and the FAT has awarded a 2-0 win to Grakcu, despite the game being drawn 1-1.

The funny thing about this situation was that Port must have known they were, if not breaking the rules, at least bending them pretty brazenly. Now, let me say up front that I don’t know what the rules actually are on which players are eligible for which tournaments, so how do I know that Port knew they were doing something naughty? Well, they were about as subtle as a brick. After just 5 minutes, Port subbed on Chakrit Rawanprakone (9), a regular in T1 matchday squads who has made 11 appearances this season. Then on 15 minutes came Arthit Butjinda (29), another T1 regular who has made 18 appearances. Neither substitution was forced by injury, meaning that bringing them off the bench was supposed to be in some way covert, or designed to get around rules about them not being able to start the game. As it turns out, only one of the two – Arthit – was ineligible, but bringing him off the bench was as much of a violation as starting him.

The result of all of this? Port’s ‘loss’ reopens the possibility that Port could finish bottom of the Bangkok region. So defeat on Saturday means WE’RE DOWN?! Hold on, THERE’S MORE! It has also emerged that Port B can not be relegated as they are a ‘B team’, and B teams can not be promoted or relegated. WE’RE SAFE! Not so fast. THERE’S MORE! The entry on T4’s Wikipedia page suggests that Port could still be booted out of T4 in 2019 if there are too many teams in the Bangkok region. Or in their own words… “Could not competed in 2019 Thai League 4 when this zone have member too much. PLT judge this quota.”

SAY WHAT?!

So will Port be in T4 in 2019? I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine. Flip a coin, draw straws, cast runes… it won’t be any less logical than what FAT is doing.

 

T4 Bangkok Table BEFORE Port had a point deducted

 

Controversy Aside

 

Humour me for a while as I pretend that none of this nonsense actually happened.

It has not been the inaugural campaign that Port B would have hoped for, but with a season of competitive experience behind them, Port’s youngsters will be better prepared for next year, and should be looking forward to an improved finish.

They cap off their season on Saturday at home against Dome FC on Saturday at 16:00, so if you want to catch them before their season ends this will be your last chance.

Despite a low-scoring season there have been some promising debut performances, with Chaowala Sriarwut (57) contributing 4 goals from left midfield, Chanayut Jejue (99) scoring 3 times from attacking midfield and Danudet Treemongkonchok (42) also scoring 3.

Chanayut was the most widely-praised of the bunch from the few that watched him play in the back end of the season, and he has been rewarded for his efforts with an appearance in a T1 match day squad as well as a couple of first team friendly appearances. Likewise, Sarawin Phakdeekan (48) was also involved with the first team after impressing in defence.

Next season will hopefully see a few new arrivals to supplement the success stories of 2018, with Port ultimately looking to replicate their distant neighbours Bangkok United B, who need a win on the final day to guarantee second place in the league. Port’s B team and academy is still in it’s infancy of course, but with the first team having made such strides forward over the last couple of seasons, similar attention should also be put in to trying to get hold of the best Thai youngsters and blood them in T4 with a view towards the best breaking in to the first team.

If indeed Madame Pang does, as I expect, extend her stay as Port chairperson, she could well save herself a fair few baht over the next few years by investing a little now in bringing in some of the best young talent available.

Port B play at Insee Chantrasatit stadium, which is on the main campus of Kasetsart University. Click here to see the Facebook page, which includes a map.

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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