Feb 11, 2011|
Formed: 1967 as Port Authority of Thailand F.C. (Renamed Thai Port in 2009)
Stadium: PAT Stadium, Khlong Toey, Bangkok
Nickname: Port Lions / Khlong Toey Army
Best Player: Jirawat Makarom
Main Sponsor: FB Battery
There’s never a dull moment at Thai Port. The 2009 FA Cup and 2010 League Cup winners have been plagued by crowd trouble and distracted by a financial dispute between the club and the Port Authority. They finished fourth in 2010 largely thanks to Sarayoot Chaikamdee’s goals. But ‘Jo Five Yards’ has moved on to Bangkok Glass, and TP have lost several other key players. With their vociferous support, the orange and blues can beat anyone on their day – it’s why they’re such a good cup team – but they may have to settle for a lower league position in 2011.
Formed: 1957 as Telephone Organisation of Thailand F.C (Renamed TOT-CAT in 2010)
Stadium: Chaeng Wattana Stadium, Lak Si, Bangkok / Yamaha Stadium, Nonthaburi)
Nickname: The Phoenixes
Best Player: Tomas Kozar
Main Sponsor: TOT-CAT
Similar to Samut Songkhram, TOT is another club which seems to defy the laws of gravity in the TPL. Unlike Samut Songkhram, TOT can expect to seriously struggle this season. A messy legal wrangle between TOT Telecommunications and CAT Telecom – which saw TOT given full control over the football club – was only sorted out in late January. They’ve lost their president and some of their best players; they’ve signed no one (and don’t appear to have any cash to spend) and still don’t know where they’re going to be playing in 2011. Definite relegation candidates.
Formed: 1963 as Thailand Tobacco Monopoly F.C (Renamed TTM Phichit in 2010)
Stadium: Phichit Stadium
Nickname: Northern Tigers
Best Player: Kraikitti Inutane
Main Sponsor: TTM
TTM finished just one place above the relegation zone on 2010, and responded by sacking their coach just before the end of the season. Korean Ho Myeong-Bae was installed and links have been established with Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma. A couple of (you guessed it!) Korean players have been signed and many more are likely to follow. It’s a novel way of trying to turn around a club’s fortunes. Success or otherwise depends on how the men from ‘Kowlee’ settle.