Lights Out: Port FC P – P Muangthong United

Our match reports are brought to you by The Sportsman.

 

I would normally begin an article with a pithy, light hearted observation that can frame the basis
of the narrative but after taking stock of yesterday’s farcical events, reviewing the news and
social media and casting an eye back over what has been a frankly ridiculous year for the club
all I can do is ask a question:

What the fuck is going on at Port?

 

 

Yesterday’s match postponement due to an electrical fire and subsequently no floodlights
means we have been unable to complete 2 of our 3 home matches since the restart of the
league. The official announcement yesterday was that the match is postponed for a later date
but The FAT has communicated the match has been “called off because the electricity outage
had halted the game for more than 60 minutes”, just like the Police Tero match. This means we
will have to report the incident to a disciplinary committee and might have to accept another 0-2
defeat and a fine.

From any perspective this is shocking. After the last outage one must presume all electrical
units were inspected, any faults repaired and then vigorously tested. I have zero electrical
knowledge (but I know smoke + fire = big problem) and I don’t want to speculate the reasons
why the fire happened because that could lead into tin foil hat time but I will add this:
What happened yesterday is totally unacceptable for a professional football club.

I’m sure there will be more official statements in the coming week but there is nothing positive to
take from this situation. From the photos circulating on social media and chat groups, to the
news that media pass holders were unable to leave their holding room during the incident, this
was a brutal day and will no doubt have a detrimental effect on our reputation.

Let’s quickly take stock of this year: we have cut our stadium capacity by 25% by adding
uncomfortable, dangerous seating for one AFC match (which we lost), fired a silverware winning
coach who had taken 10 out of 12 points in this league campaign, signed an injured player and
shamefully dropped our captain to accommodate him in the squad, fired another coach for 2
defeats (1 technically awarded due to power outage) and there are still many, many things I
could gripe about.

I know that in football, and from supporting this team for 4 years, gallows humour plays a big
role in defeats, relegation and all other forms of misfortune but yesterday’s event was just
disrespectful. The fans, some of the most passionate in Thailand, deserve a lot better and the
club is now damaging the reputation of the league and Thai football in general. Port needs to
accept responsibility and any punishment meted out, show some understanding and remorse
towards its coaching staff, players and fans, and finally conduct itself more professionally. It’s
not something we ask for, it’s something we expect.

 

Toby Knight

Toby Knight

North Londoner, Arsenal fan and believer in lucky cigars, Toby decamped to Bangkok 2 years ago and happily stumbled upon Port FC last season. The rest, as they say, is history.

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