Pro-Beijing lawmaker and club owner of Shatin Sports Association, Lam Tai-fai, has compared Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s cabinet to a football team and suggested that the “football club owner” should replace the “manager” of the team.

In an op-ed published in AM730 on Tuesday, Lam wrote that “If the team continues to lose while the manager only spouts empty and fanciful talk, the lack of results will eventually cause fans to castigate the team. To prevent the team from being humiliated any further, the club owner might have to consider replacing [the manager].”

Lam, who is also a member of China’s political advisory body, said that the cabinet of the chief executive is like a football club, and “the chief executive is the manager, who possesses absolute authority over lineups and formulating tactics.”

Lam Tai-fai CY Leung
Leung Chun-ying (left) and Lam Tai-fai (right). Photo: GovHK / Apple Daily.

He commented that the incumbent Leung Chun-ying won the 2012 election as a “dark horse” and “by some strange occurrence became the manager.” “However [Leung] was not able to sign quality ‘players’ for each position, hence the results of the team steadily worsened,” Lam wrote.

“In addition, the manager exercises favouritism, and disregards formation by putting his favourite players into the game, leading to mismatches in multiple positions,” Lam added. He pointed out that individuals who are unfamiliar with land and education are responsible for such areas.

Lam further wrote: “As the club’s results go down the drain, the manager has ran out of ideas and has exhausted his bag of tricks.”

Last month, the chief executive announced personnel changes at two high ranking posts, causing irritation among some members of the pro-Beijing camp.

Lam is the legislator for the industrial functional constituency and was previously the club owner of two local first division teams, Rangers FC and Happy Valley AA. When Lam took charge of Shatin SA in 2007, he spent over HK$2 million to revamp the club, and brought the team from the third division to the first division in three years.

Arthur Lo is an undergraduate student currently on a gap year. During Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement protests, he worked as a fixer, translator and producer for foreign media outlets such as Al-Jazeera.