Monday, April 5, 2010


Regardless of what business you are in - you are really in the business of satisfying customers. Overall satisfaction is a complex metric. Inside the mind of every consumer, there is interplay between the “rational”—or left side of the brain —and the “emotional”—or right side of the brain.

That also applies in sports, as the administrators have to satisfy their stakeholders and fans.

Not only do the players have to perform week in and week out, the management has to come up with ways to spur the players on. Hockey is no different like show business for those on the field are the actors while the managers and boardroom people are the directors or chirographers.

And the pitch is the stage while the fans, be it at the stadiums or on television is the audience. So the acronym, there is no business like show business is indeed applicable to hockey as well.

Sadly the actor syndrome in the Malaysian Hockey Federation is getting from bad to worse. The very fact that the Director General of the National Sports Council and his officers being taken for a ride by key personnel within MHF is a cause of conern.

MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, rightfully said that it was not MHF who made the statement that Roelant Oltmans was hired to chart the fortunes of our hockey team was correct, at least that is what we are being led to believe.

Ampun Tuanku, it was your officials that attended the MHF-NSC Joint Committee Meeting that led the NSC DG and his men to believe that hiring of Oltmans was a foregone conclusion. And some were there when the NSC DG made the press statement, and none interjected to say that negotiations were still in progress.

So the NSC are being made to look like fools, by some officials from MHF who even went to the extent of trying to get Presidents of the affiliates to attend the last Council meeting instead of the normal bunch of personalities that are involved in the day to day running of the sport.

The reason being, they wanted to ensure that the decision of the Management Committee to appoint the coaches was endorsed and that the recommendations put forward by the Coaching Committee be defeated.

One state President told me of a phone call made by a key person within MHF to him asking him to attend the meeting and vote for the Management Committee. Another MHF official stands accused of a whispering campaign prior to the council meeting to endorse the decision of the Management Committee.

The very fact that it was a close call (8-7) shows that MHF is divided in the middle and that there are more actors within MHF then those actually doing work. Yes some may argue that the affiliates are deadwood, well if indeed they were then why lobby in the first place?

Now that Oltmans is not coming, will the MHF let us know what was the cost in trying to entice the Dutchman, including the cost of a delegation that went to New Delhi and the cost of flying the Dutchman to Malaysia last November?

In keeping up with the transparency slogan, an someone tell us, not the officials who were at the NSC/MHF meeting though as they stand accused of taking the NSC DG for a ride, what are the targets for Stephen van Huizen who was named as the Chief Coach by the MHF President as it was not discussed in the Council meeting?

Results matters in hockey, the same as in show business as when the turnstiles keep turning, money will keep coming in and with that the business enterprise grows. Ultimately, be it in business or in hockey it is the customer satisfaction that is important.