ProEvents chief recalls challenge of diverting Manchester United from Jakarta to KL

Julian Kam is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Malaysian subsidiary of his Hong Kong-based company, ProEvents, by organising visits by English Premier League clubs Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea to play against a Malaysian selection in Kuala Lupur over eight days in July.

In an interview with Eric Samuel in The Star, he recalled how he finally managed to arrange Manchester United’s inaugural trip to Malaysia in 1995: “I knocked on their door for eight years before I made the breakthrough. There was no answer from them ... but I persevered and I kept on sending them telegraphs of my proposals. Finally, United’s former chairman Martin Edwards opened the door,” he said.

One of his biggest challenges was to re-schedule Manchester United’s pre-season Tour of Asia in 2009. “United were on their way to Kuala Lumpur when there was a bomb blast in Jakarta. There was a serious concern about their safety because their next stop was Indonesia. We had 24 hours to make a decision and we went through the check list and managed to switch the game to Malaysia in record time ... Sir Alex Ferguson and his team told me that their last trip to Kuala Lumpur in 2009 was their best ever Asian Tour.”

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