There was no grandstanding or showboating from Brian Leung Hung-tak this time as he was duly elected unopposed to a second term as chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association this month. It was a sea change from the persona Leung adopted two years ago when he promised the earth, moon and the sun to the football fraternity if he was elected chairman of the HKFA. Leung was not quite in the same league as the Sri Lanka premier who promised the electorate she would bring down rice from the moon if she was elected - and the poor fools did elect her, the world's first woman prime minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Two years ago, Leung held a press conference where he pledged he would get the Jockey Club to fork out HK$200 million for a new football academy, and get it to legalise football betting on local matches. Leung went on record at the time: 'I have secured a deal with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and they will offer the association a sum of HK$200 million if I get the job. But the promised resources will not come true if I am not the chairman.' He had lost to then incumbent Martin Hong Po-kui by a mere four votes at the 2005 election and was desperate to get involved. Whether he had a deal with the Jockey Club is moot, but it subsequently emerged that nothing concrete had been tied up. It was all conjecture as far as the Jockey Club was concerned and they quickly distanced themselves from Leung. By then he was already chairman. That the proposed football academy at Tseung Kwan O is still a figment of the imagination and that betting on local games is still in the realms of toon town is forgotten. Leung's grandiose dreams have not materialised and the game is the worse for it. But that hasn't quelled his ambition, and he once again put his name forward for the top job at this month's annual general meeting. As no one opposed him this time, Leung did not have to climb on the soapbox and promise to 'bring rice down from the moon'. The run-up to the elections was entirely low-key this time. That no one had the nerve to challenge Leung bodes ill for the game. It seems there is an air of apathy hanging over Hong Kong football. This feeling was amplified by Leung, who, soon after he had been re-elected, said plans for a professional league had been put on hold for at least a year. A professional league was supposed to be the way forward and the magic tonic that would cure the game of its ills. But Leung declared time had run out for implementing a brand new league. How come time has run out and why the postponement? Leung has been in charge for the past two years and surely in this time he and his coterie of officials could have come up with a plan to revive the game. While admitting that 'change was needed in order to improve football in Hong Kong', Leung added 'it can't be done overnight'. So the past two years have been less than memorable and the next two years of Leung's tenure could also end up with little to boast about. Already a number of teams have said they would be trimming their budgets for next season. Happy Valley chairman Pui Kwan-kay stated the team would not only cut their budget, but would also not employ any expatriate players. Fourway director Philip Lee Fai-lap has voiced similar sentiments about belt-tightening. Eastern, who represented Hong Kong in the AFC Cup this season, have gone a step further and will not compete in the First Division next season. They are content to play in the Third Division. Eastern's Peter Leung Shou-chi, who stepped down as a team manager after 30 years in the job, blamed vested interests for ruining the game. 'The reality is that there are a lot of constraints on developing football. Many people are here only for their own agenda and personal interest always comes first,' he said in a damning indictment. One look at the diminishing fan base and you realise the huge problems the game faces. Last season, the highest attendance for a domestic competition was 4,228 for a league doubleheader featuring Fourway against Pegasus and South China against Kitchee. Those numbers were huge when compared with the lowest turnout - only 95 fans watched Happy Valley beat mainland side Xiangxue Eisiti. Soon after he was re-elected, HKFA chairman Leung said he would be pinning his hopes on the government to give a much-needed helping hand. Already the HKFA has asked for a 60 per cent cut in hiring fees for Hong Kong Stadium - from HK$150,000 to HK$60,000. There is also hope a consultancy study undertaken by the government will provide answers to the vexing question of how the game could be revived. 'We hope the government will set aside more resources for football, especially in supporting junior development and the Hong Kong team,' Leung said. Perhaps one way forward would be to see that football is returned to the Sports Institute as an elite sport. But at the end of the day, the fate of the game lies in the hands of the game's administrators. You can ask for help from outside parties, but if your own house is not in order, no amount of help can help salvage the position soccer finds itself in now. Leung should cut down on the rhetoric and get on with the task at hand. He has had two years, and the time for excuses has run out.