XOX confident of turning around financially-strapped Perak Football Club

DEBT-RIDDEN Perak Football Club (Perak FC) has finally found a white knight in disruptive technology specialist XOX Bhd that can turn its luck around.

On April 29, XOX inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Impact Media and Communication Sdn Bhd (IMC) to purchase Perak FC for RM1.

The proposed acquisition provides an opportunity for the tech company to expand its reach further by enlarging its ecosystem to incorporate football which is very much in line with XOX’s history in supporting the local sporting community.

Perak FC’s financial issues saw the 2018 Liga Super Malaysia runner-up suffering their first-ever relegation at the Malaysian top-flight during the end of the 2021 season.

In 2022, the situation worsened with players and staff members staring at a bleak future following the club’s inability to pay their salaries for the past two-and-a-half to seven months.

Things have become so bad at the Bos Gaurus that its newly-appointed head coach Yusri Che Lah revealed that players have begun selling off their personal items such as motorcycles just to survive the day.

On April 1, Perak FC was slammed with a three-point deduction for failing to settle the balance of last year’s salaries of players and officials amounting to RM934,729.42 by March 31.

The 100-year-old Perak FC is the third most successful football club in Malaysia Cup history, having won the competition a total of eight times with the last in 2018. It also won the inaugural FA Cup in 1990, a feat it repeated in 2004.

Perak FC has an estimated fanbase of half a million with the Perak state widely known to house the nation’s most fanatic football fans.

With its latest acquisition, XOX hopes to emulate its subscriber growth from tapping the football fan base as well as generating new media content for consumption of its subscribers.

At the moment, the company’s year-on-year (yoy) revenue increase and market share acquisition is directly correlated to XOX’s venture with its TKKR racing team.

The team prides itself in nurturing grassroot riders, providing a platform to aspiring racers a chance to race professionally.

Upon completion of its purchase, XOX’s Perak-born chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi will be appointed to Perak FC in a senior capacity as a representative from XOX assist in the transition period.

Azim was previously the chairman of National Sports Institute (ISN) and had been appointed as the Malaysian Chef de Mission to the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and Palembang by the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

During the signing ceremony, Azim also presented Perak FC’s team coach Yusri Che Lah with a RM100,000 cheque as part of a Hari Raya aid package meant for the players and team personnel who have stayed with the team during tough times.

“It pains my heart to see my beloved Bos Gaurus to be in such a sorry state of affairs. The new management will strive to bring back the glory days of Perak FC together with the support from our fans. Kejor Yeop Kejor!” said Dato’ Seri Azim.

First order of business for the incoming management is to pay off all due salaries to the team, revive and refresh its training facilities, and to re-start Perak FC’s grassroot development programme in line with XOX’s focus on developing local talent. – May 3, 2022

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