“Football can be run as a successful business model, if you have a plan,” adds fellow trustee Santiago Araneta of the sponsoring LBC Express, Inc. “What is important is we do things one step at a time, and eventually, we’ll get there.
What FA has done is to partner with the United Football Club Association (UFCA) to put together a long-term business plan for the sport. The existing teams of the United Football League will each get corporate sponsors, either their own or enlisted by FA, to ensure the viability of each squad.
“As of now, we still have no way of determining which teams should be ranked where,” adds Philip Hagedorn of FA. “So we will have an initial competition to be able to rate everybody, and take it from there.”
The initial tournament will have 16 teams from the Armed Forces, schools and clubs, as well as teams of expats in the Philippines.
Players will receive the same allowances, and uniforms designed by Rudy Project, which will hopefully give their merchandising efforts some impetus. The United Football Cup will run from October to December, and will essentially determine the rankings, and which teams play in Division I and which teams play in Division II.
Relegation and promotion will be incorporated into the format to make things interesting.
The main tournament, the United Football League, will stretch from January to May. And the United Football Invitational, which will include a handful of teams from neighboring countries, will also be held in May. The FA believes it doesn’t make sense to be playing during rainy season.
“We actually have everything in place,” Mantecon continues. “We have the teams who are excited to play, the sponsors who have been very helpful, and even the print media, who are truly interested. We’ve even negotiated with SM to put up a pitch for us near Mall of Asia.
All we need now is to get people to watch the games.”
The FA has taken every step to professionalize the sport. What they need now is a snowball of public awareness to make sure the sport grows properly.
Comment : Is this a new Manila league , and who is behind FA (Football Alliance) ? Is this league supported by PFF or NCR ?