No-relegation V-League a crazy idea: insiders
Updated : 12/10/2012 12:07 GMT + 7
There will be no clubs to be relegated after the 2013 season of the top-tier football league V-League, and the second-tier First Division, the leagues’ organizers announced last weekend, a decision deemed to be illogical and expected to bring more disadvantages than advantages.
The 2013 V-League will kick off on March 3, 2013, and finish in late August, after 22 rounds and 132 matches.
The 12 contenders can now forget the relegation fear, and focus on playing to win the first prize worth VND10 billion, while the prizes for the second and third runner-ups are VND3 billion, and VND1 billion, respectively. (VND1 billion = US$48,000).
But insiders are wondering if the tournament can remain thrilling when the clubs no longer have to worry about the relegation risk.
“The V-League will be a motivation-less championship, and it is just like a friendly tournament,” commented football expert Nguyen Thanh Vinh.
Vinh said football fans will suffer the most disadvantages as they may not be interested in going to the stadiums anymore.
Nguyen Thanh Vinh, former coach of Hanoi football club, responded with a stronger remark.
“The no-relegation V-League is an idea that presents a lack of knowledge about professional football,” he told newswire Vietnamnet.
“The club bosses have to earmark VND60 to 70 billion a year for the tournament, which has now become meaningless, as there will be no relegation or promotion.
“There is thus no need to organize the league. The clubs can just gather and play for fun at any time they want,” he ironically remarked.
Nguyen Hong Thanh, chairman of Song Lam Nghe An club, said the new rule will affect the tournament’s quality, and discourage the spectators and sponsors.
“So I think we should at least have one club relegated to create motivation for the event,” he said.
However, there are still some supporters.
“The clubs can find the motivation from the VND10 billion cash prize for the championship,” said Nguyen Quoc Hoi, chairman of Hanoi T&T.
U-22 squad playing at V-League
Along with the no-relegation rule, the V-League’s organizer and operator VPF also announced that the national Under-22 squad will be playing at the V-League with the other 11 clubs.
The move is intended to have the U-22 team prepare for two important campaigns: the 2013 SEA Games and Asian Cup.
The unprecedented decision also triggered a wave of opposite responses from insiders, most of whom say it is infeasible to have a team play at a club-level tournament.
“While it’s reasonable that attending the V-League will help fortify the U-22 team, we will face difficulties as some clubs will not allow their players to play for the national team instead of their squads,” said Thanh from Song Lam Nghe An.
“Song Lam Nghe An used to have three to four players at the U-22 team, so how can we play if the team takes these players from us next year?” he said.