Second-tier clubs to take stake in football management company

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Ten out of 14 Vietnam's second-tier First Division clubs will be shareholders in the planned football management company called Vietnam Professional Football JSC, a meeting in Hanoi heard on Monday.

At first, owners of the top-tier V-League clubs, especially those who mooted the idea of establishing the company following dissatisfaction with the way the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) was running the league, were not keen on having the second-tier First Division clubs as shareholders.

VFF vice chairman Pham Ngoc Vien said, "VPF will manage both leagues, so it would be unreasonable for it to stop First Division clubs from becoming the company's shareholders."

Four First Division clubs cannot become shareholders for the time being because they are still state-owned rather than private or joint-stock companies. And if they are still not joint stock companies by 2013, they will be excluded from the leagues, Vien said.

So, 14 V-League clubs and 10 First Division clubs will be VPF's shareholders making up 64.4% of the company's charter capital while the rest of the stake will belong to VFF.

Vien said, "VFF will not intervene a lot with VPF staff. Instead, Vietnam's football governing body will be more proactive in the management and organization of the competitions rather than act as a puppet."

As a rule, VFF will have the casting vote but it will only prevail winner if more than half of the VPF clubs support it.

VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy said, "Preparations should be made more quickly because we don't have much time. Next week, VFF and the enterprises must complete the plan for the company and submit it to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

"If approved soon by the authorized agencies, the plan will be discussed further at VFF's Annual General Meeting late this month. I believe no model is the best, so changes will be made to improve the model over time."

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