Club owners say no to limited liability company

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Football club owners want the country's top-tier V-League and second-tier First Division to be managed by a joint stock company rather than a limited liability one.

The club owners strongly disagree with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism who want a limited liability company .

Based on Vietnam's laws and FIFA regulations, VFF is legally responsible for Vietnam's football activities and the top-tier V-League and second-tier First Division.

As a joint stock company, the VFF may sometimes have fewer or no shares, thus losing its important position, contravening the nation's laws as well as FIFA regulations, the ministry has said.

In the event the company goes bankrupt, a joint stock company would leave more severe consequences than an LLC which is only responsible for its initial legal capital.

Also, when raising funds, a joint stock company has the right to sell shares to the public and anyone can be the company's owner. That would be very risky, making things very complicated, according to the ministry.

However, the club owners think differently. Doan Nguyen Duc, owner of V-League side Hoang Anh Gia Lai, said, "Why does VFF want it to be an LLC? Only a JSC can be fair for everyone - from capital contribution to profit distribution, from VFF's responsibilities to those of the clubs.

"I haven't received any information from VFF and Kien (Nguyen Duc Kien, owner of Hanoi ACB club) is authorized to work with VFF. We want a JSC because of its advantages. It can't be changed to an LLC without official consent of the club owners.

"Why does VFF think it would be safer and better to have an LLC? That's wrong. Only a JSC can raise funds from the public and we want it to be a public company."

Le Tien Anh, owner of Khanh Hoa club said, "We had thought very carefully before making the proposal. A JSC can be very flexible in its business activities while an LLC can't make much change. It can't increase or decrease its capital. What is more, it can't take advantage of the financial sources from the public."

Surprisingly enough, Kien, who represents the clubs to work with VFF, professed not knowing about the counter proposal. He strongly disagreed with the idea that an LLC is less likely to face risks than a JSC.

Kien said, "Both types of company are likely to face similar risks and if the management and operation are not good, any kind of company will go into bankruptcy."

Thanh Nien tried to call VFF vice chairman Pham Ngoc Vien, who is mainly responsible for the model of the company to be established; but he could not be reached.

VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy said, "The club owners play key roles in deciding the model of the company. If VFF and club representatives as well as relevant government agencies agree on a model of the company, we will just comply with the decision whether it is an LLC or a JSC."

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