Vietnamese football turns over a new leaf

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The first meeting of Vietnam Professional Football JS Company (VPF) was held in Hanoi on Wednesday to choose its managing staff.

Vo Quoc Thang, owner of the top-tier club Dong Tam Long An, was appointed the chairman of the company, which was created by club owners who were unpleased with the management provided by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).

Le Hung Dung will be vice chairman in charge of general financial issues; Nguyen Duc Kien will serve as vice chairman responsible for finance, internal issues and referee supervision; whilst Doan Nguyen Duc will be vice chairman responsible for supporting the national teams.

Management members will include Nguyen Cong Khe, chairman of Thanh Nien Media Company; Pham Ngoc Vien, VFF vice chairman; Bui Xuan Hoa, SHB Da Nang club owner; Bui Van Duc, vice chairman of Binh Duong Football Federation; and Ms. Dinh Thu Trang, VFF's financial chief.

The Board of Directors appointed Pham Ngoc Vien to be CEO. Deputy Directors will be Pham Phu Hoa (no longer managing director of Dong Tam Long An club) in charge of legal, administrative and office issues; and Luu Quang Lam, chairman of Saigon FC responsible for the media issues.

Tran Duy Ly will be held as managing director of V-League 1; with Nguyen Huu Bang will be the managing director of V-League 2.

VPF must make some profit

Though the meeting was formal and serious, the participants were enthusiastic and determined. A detailed action plan did not emerge from this initial meeting.

However, ACB club owner, Nguyen Duc Kien, a major proponent for establishing the company, said, "VPF is a special business. It must make its own living. Its main purpose is not to make profits but it can't be unprofitable.


As planned, the total revenue of the 2012 season will be VND39.731 billion while the total expenditure will be VND37.337 billion. This plan does not include contributions (payment of participation fee) from clubs; and the clubs will pay for food and accommodation for referees, supervisors and at most one member of the tournament organizing committee. The difference between revenue and expenditure is expected to be VND2.3 billion.

"We the founders don't consider this a tasty cake of which we would fight for a share, power or interest for individuals or our clubs. There won't be a fight for power between VFF and VPF."

Kien said the company would not operate at a loss, even in the first year of its operation. The amount of profit will depend heavily on the work of the Board of Directors.

Kien stressed, "VPF will make no less revenue than VFF did (more than VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) per year). VPF will raise enough for its operations without asking top-tier V-League (now called V-League 1) clubs to pay VND500 million to participate in the tournament and second-tier First Division (currently V-League 2) to pay VND300 million.

"The company has four financial measures. In the worst case, each club will be asked to pay half of the previous fee of participation."

Since VFF doesn't have any large revenue, VPF will have to give VFF a part of the company's profits before taxes so that VFF will have no less money for the national football teams than before, Kien said.

VPF will also be controlled

Kien said the Vietnamese football tournaments and VPF must manage well to ensure quality and transparency. A club cannot award more than VND500 million per match to its players and the company will monitor clubs strictly conduct to ensure clubs do not offer secret rewards.

VPF will be under the strict control of an inspection committee. Le Tien Anh, owner of Khanh Hoa Club, will be chief of the committee supported by two members Nguyen Nam Hung, VFF's standing committee member; and Nguyen Van Thanh, owner of Binh Dinh Club.

Tien Anh said, "In addition to the financial matter, we will monitor the staff. Or in other words, we will supervise all the operations of the company with regular checks rather than inspecting every six months or once a year."

At the end of the meeting, Kien said, "I appointed Vien to be the company CEO but I must say to Vien that his position is totally different from his previous position [VFF vice chairman], so he must make necessary changes. He will be rewarded if he does a good job; otherwise, he will be removed."


Speaking during a press conference after the meeting, VPF chairman Vo Quoc Thang said, "I couldn't go to bed until 3 a.m. I had to think about the offer for the position, and I thought I would be found irresponsible for Vietnamese football if I didn't accept the invitation.

"Being offered the position, I feel happy, concerned and surprised. All I need is support from different people so that I can fulfill my duties. I promise I will do my best to ensure stability and development of the company, bringing the most benefits for the clubs, making Vietnamese football catch up with football development in the continent and the world.

"All matters must be decided by the Board of Directors, not by any individual. Though very busy, we will arrange the time and try to make the best use of the strengths of each individual to boost the strength of the company.

"Of course, we can't expect Vietnamese football to improve overnight; but we will make efforts to solve all the problems. We will give specific rights to the Board of Directors and its members. We shouldn't talk about the past. We should look forward. Those who do a good job will be given more power and those who don't do a good job will have their power reduced. No one in the Board of Directors will receive a salary. All individual expenses for VPF business will be paid by me." By Nhat Duy

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