The Bakrie family has swapped one Indonesian club for another, potentially leading to further player transfers between the consortium's stable of clubs
|By PADDY HIGGS and AGUNG HARSYA
The Bakrie Group - the owners of Brisbane Roar - have taken over Indonesia Super League powerhouse Arema after off-loading their controlling stake in league rivals Pelita Jaya.
The company's Pelita Jaya Cronus consortium sold their Pelita Jaya licence to Bandung Raya last week, with the club subsequently changing its name but retaining its ISL spot.
The Bakrie Group then acquired Arema on Monday, and star players such as Malaysian striker Safee Sali, Indonesia Under-23 captain Egi Melgiansyah and naturalised forward Greg Nwokolo are expected to follow the owners from Pelita.
There will continue to be two Arema clubs, with both the Indonesian Premier League and the ISL to continue in 2013 ahead of a proposed merger the following season.
But it is their club Pelita Jaya Cronus want to rise to the top of Indonesian football.
"We have already been thinking about this carefully. We're targeting now to make Arema the No.1 club in Indonesia and also one of the leading clubs in Southeast Asia," Pelita Jaya Cronus vice president Helmi Rahman.
Pelita Jaya Cronus retain their ownership of dual A-League champions Brisbane, as well as Belgian Second Division club CS Vise and Uruguayan youth club Deportivo Indonesia.
Arema president director Ruddy Widodo expects this new ownership will lead to opportunities for his players opportunity to move to other Pelita Jaya Cronus clubs.
They could follow in the footsteps of former Australia youth international Kofi Danning, who joined Vise from the Roar in August as part of the relationship between the clubs.