New plans for Vietnamese football questioned

TN News

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Hailed as a plan that would revitalize Vietnamese football, the establishment of the so-called Vietnam Professional Football JS Co., or VDF has run into rough weather even before its inception.

The idea was mooted and accepted in a meeting between owners of the nation's leading clubs and the Vietnam Football Federation during which the former castigated the latter's "bad management" that they said had resulted in the poor state of the game in the country.

The club owners claimed that the new plan, which is to be submitted to government agencies for approval, would be able to ensure clean football in Vietnam, take it to new heights and make profits for both the clubs and the VFF.

But the question that has been raised since is: Who will supervise the company [VPF] to prevent problems or conflicts between the clubs?.

Observers have remarked that there is an internal inspection and supervision department at the Asian Commercial Bank (ACB) where Nguyen Duc Kien, one of the club owners (Hanoi ACB) and primary mover behind the new plan, is Vice President.

They say that a similar entity would be necessary to oversee the functioning of the new company if it is established.

Cao Sy Kiem, former governor of the State Bank of Vietnam told Thanh Nien, "When it is a joint-stock company, the wealthier club owners [with more shares] will make the final decisions.

"If there are bad deals or agreements between them, problems will be much bigger and more difficult to solve. If VPF focuses a lot on making profits, new problems will arise. The old problem of match fixing or bribery may be solved but new problems will be more severe."

Doubtful

Sports officials on Sunday expressed similar concerns, saying that the VPF would not be as successful as expected if the club owners formed cliques instead of functioning as a united body.

VFF's vice chairman Pham Ngoc Vien said, "It is advisable to think of the worst case scenarios to prevent serious problems. We are afraid that the clubs will be separated into different groups and some clubs are better treated than others.

"Yet VPF will certainly be in control of the VFF. We won't let club owners do whatever they want because VFF is legally still Vietnam's football governing body.

"VFF would have to be in charge of football activities while the club owners may join hands to economically promote VPF's prosperity. They can't control football. If they do, it will be destructive for the leagues."

Vien also said, "At the club owners meeting [on Thursday September, 29], the clubs pledged to ensure clean football for the future of Vietnam's football quality. Clean football here means using clean money and not joining hands in negative ways".

Vien said that VPF is supposed to promote transparency in Vietnamese football but it should also ensure transparency in all its activities, most importantly in financial matters, and even make every financial issue known to the publc.

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