Kuala Lumpur United have made the bold decision of hiring a former player to a top post, when on Saturday the club announced the appointment of ex-player and former Malaysia international Stanley Bernard Stephen Samuel as their chief executive officer (CEO).
The club formerly known as Kuala Lumpur FA made the announcement on their social media accounts, although they added that more details on the appointment will be provided later in an interview with him.
The City Boys were Stanley's first professional club when he turned out for them between 2004 and 2008. He then played for several other clubs, including a stint in the Indian league. He returned to Kuala Lumpur in 2012, but a severe injury in the same year led to the premature end of his professional career.
He then embarked on a career in match broadcasting, and in recent years has developed a reputation as one of the best match commentators, if not the best, in Malaysia, thanks to his insight as a former pro as well as his ability to call matches in both English and Bahasa Melayu.
Malaysian outfits have been regularly criticised for rarely appointing former players to administrative positions, preferring career sports administrators and political appointees instead.
United's decision to appoint the 34-year old Stanley, which followed their privatisation/separation exercise under the Malaysian FA's directive, is a bold step in a promising direction. Next season they will return to the top-tier as the 2020 Premier League second best non-reserve team club.