Model differences arise over football management company

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Differences of opinion have surfaced between different stakeholders over a proposed company that will manages the two major football leagues in Vietnam.

Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Chairman Nguyen Trong Hy Saturday said  the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism wants the new football management company, known as Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF), to be a limited liability company rather than a joint stock firm.

Vuong Bich Thang, Director of the General Department of Physical Exercise and Sports, said, "We haven't submitted the plan [to establish Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF)] to the Ministry [of Culture, Sports and Tourism] because we are still considering several related issues.

"The Ministry said it should be a limited liability company rather than a joint stock company in order to prevent some possible risks later."

The Ministry said, pursuant to Vietnam's laws and FIFA's regulations, VFF is legally responsible for Vietnam's football activities and the top-tier V-League and second-tier First Division.

If it is a joint stock company, VFF may sometime have fewer or no shares, it could lose its important position, and that will be against the country's laws as well as FIFA's regulations.

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.

The ministry's ideas are contrary to the expectations of the club owners.

Hoang Manh Truong, owner of V-League club The Vissai Ninh Binh, one of the six people who had proposed a joint stock company, said, "Such a company will never come into existence if we are afraid of risks or bankruptcy. Even if it is established, it won't do much because of such fears.

"A  joint stock company in charge of the leagues will operate in compliance with the legal regulations of Vietnam's laws and the mechanisms of the market. It will be a challenging environment that can accurately measure the success of the company.

"A company faces risks and that is normal for any business in the world. Even the World Football Federation (FIFA) is likely to go bankrupt, just like Greece."

Truong said "we shouldn't be afraid of things like VFF losing all its powers. Such ideas are all wrong because the VFF still has a very important position in the Board of Directors of the Company."

Truong said, "We don't have the idea of controlling everything for the benefits of individuals or particular clubs. We want benefits for Vietnamese football and all clubs in general.

"If problems happen, the Ministry will make changes to the company rather than let it dissolve. If we are afraid of different things, we will return to nothing."

Vuong Bich Thang said discussions were still going on and no final decisions have been made.

VFF chairman Hy said, "At the annual meeting on November 3, it is necessary to get votes to change VFF's rules in the direction that the country's leagues will be managed by V-League JSC (V.JSC) (that is VPF).

"Careful steps will be taken in the process of establishing the company. From November 11-18, VFF vice chairman Pham Ngoc Vien will go to Japan and South Korea to learn more from their experiences."

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