HANOI (1 Jan 2012) – Vietnam’s newly-formed Super League kicks off this weekend to mixed reactions. After a season in which the V-League was criticized for low attendance, poor refereeing and chaos in player transfers with exorbitant fees, Vietnam football clubs are demanding a new model of management in order to make the league cleaner and improve the development of football.
As a result, football clubs and the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) have established a new company called the Vietnam Professional Football Joint-Stock Company (VPF), which includes a board of directors and a chief executive officer to manage the country’s top football competitions – the Super League and the First Division.
The referee council has also been replaced by a board of referees, who will be paid relatively high salaries as a deterrent to committing any unethical violations. However, there has been a mixed reaction among insiders towards the VPF and the Super League.
Lu Dinh Tuan, coach of the Sai Gon Football Club, believes the VPF will make the Super League better.
“With a passion for football as well as managerial ability, I believe the VPF will bring positive changes for the Super League in particular and Vietnamese football in general,” Tuan said.
“The new name Super League also helps generate a feeling of excitement for the players.”
Former national coach Mai Duc Chung welcomes VPF and hopes the company will bring improvements to the Super League.
“The VPF brings a new way of managing the Super League. However, my worry is how the company will solve problems during the season to make everything fair for all clubs, as many members in the company own a club in the competition,” Chung said.
Tran Van Duong, managing director of Binh Duong, a member of the organising committee, is less eager for the new season.
“I don’t know how this season will go, but we will probably have to wait and see if it will be better or not,” he said.
The title race this season will definitely be very close as many teams have strengthened their squads with quality players.
Defending champions SLNA, financially backed by Bac A Bank, has set a goal of retaining the title as well as going further in the Asia Confederation Cup.
However, the mission will not be easy for young coach Nguyen Huu Thang because many teams have shown that they do not want to miss the chance to lift the trophy in the first season in which V-League has been renamed.
Binh Duong, Da Nang, Ha Noi T&T and newcomer Sai Gon are all emerging as genuine title challengers.
With a strong team, Binh Duong is always a pre-season serious contender, but it has achieved below expectations in the last three recent seasons. The club knows that nothing less than the Super League title can satisfy fans.
Da Nang, led by former national striker Le Huynh Duc, has also set a high goal this season. Duc is banking on the stability he has built for the team.
“Every club wants to achieve the best possible result and so does Da Nang. The club did not make many purchases this season because we want stability and we believe stability will bring success,” said Duc.
The last season’s runners-up, Ha Noi T&T, are still a contender this year despite the departure of top striker Le Cong Vinh, who moved to the Ha Noi football club.
The club is coached by Phan Thanh Hung, one of the best coaches in the Super League, where they have many quality players in Le Hong Minh, Cristiano and Nguyen Van Quyet, who have been playing together for quite some time.
Newcomer Sai Gon, the new name of newly promoted Sai Gon Xuan Thanh, promise to spring some surprises as the club has made several purchases ahead of the new season. They bought top players including national goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong, midfielder Nguyen Rogerio and striker Antonio Carlos.
SOURCE: Vietnam News