Dang Xuan Huy, chairman of Dong Thap football club, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he does not need cash grants or land use or other benefits from local authorities, but only appropriate rules, for his club to survive and develop.
The comment from the official was given on the current situation in Vietnamese football, which has seen poor management blamed for its underdevelopment, after the country’s top-tier V-League 1 wrapped up last month.
Poor management by Vietnam’s football governing body, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), intervention by the state, a lack of solidarity, and match-fixing have existed since the 1980s, when the VFF announced it was entering the professional world of football.
The election of officials who run the VFF has been done under the supervision of the state, who always decides on major postings, according to Professor Duong Nghiep Chi, acting president of the federation in its first term from 1989 to 1993.
The operation of Vietnamese football is mixed between state management and the structure of a market economy observed by sponsor companies.
The ongoing intervention of the state is a result of the fact that many of the 14 participating clubs of this year's V-League 1 are reliant on government subsidy.
Only a few of the league clubs are able to survive on the income from ticket sales and sponsorship.
An example from Dong Thap FC
At the start of the 2015 season, which lasted from January to September, five sponsors contributed a total of VND24.5 billion (US$1.1 million) for the operations of the club over one season.
The management board set a target for the club, including remaining in the top league for the 2016 season and to incur a total loss of no more than VND14 billion ($622,200).
Dong Thap met the target, finishing 12th on the overall table of 14 teams and losing VND11 billion ($489,000).
Chairman Huy clarified that his club earned VND1.5 billion ($67,000) from the sale of tickets, nearly VND3 billion ($133,300) from stadium advertising, and VND6 billion ($266,700) from sponsors.
Despite the loss, Huy said he believed that his club can survive without subsidy from the state next year if there is no outside intervention.
In a recent plan submitted to local authorities, Dong Thap FC confirmed that it prefers self-control to state subsidy for development.