• Big spending football club now calls for money aid
    19:56 | 07/12/2012

    Known for its lavish spending to recruit good players over the last two seasons, the Ho Chi Minh City-based football club Saigon Xuan Thanh (SGXT) is calling on the municipal authorities for monetary support in the 2013 season as they are now in economic troubles.


    Saigon Xuan Thanh chairman Nguyen Duc Thuy (L) poses for a photo with the 2012 National Cup trophy at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, August 29, 2012.

    SGXT has sunk some VND170 billion, or US$8.1 million, to fortify its squad, which indeed enabled it to win the championship of the second-tier league First Division in 2011, finish third at the 2012 V-League, and finally, snatch the 2012 National Cup trophy.

    But the club could not avoid the economic malaise that has sent a number of other clubs into a tough spot ahead of the coming 2013 season.

    Earlier in November, chairman Nguyen Duc Thuy has called on the city’s authorities for some monetary aids, while the club itself has implemented some methods to reduce expenses.

    SGXT refused to extend the contract with Huynh Kesley, and slashed the monthly wages to other players by as much as 40 percent.

    Yet the club still has to earmark $22,000 a month to pay salary for Nguyen Rogerio and Antonio as it has yet to be able to sell these two Brazilian stars.

    The salary budget will only be enlarged next year with the arrivals of other domestic stars including Quang Hai, Tai Em, Viet Cuong, and Long Giang, as they are transferred from the dissolved Naviabank Saigon FC.

    SGXT currently owes its players two to three months of salary, its managing director Tran Tien Dai admitted.

    The club has managed to gain some VND2 – 3 billion from selling several Navibank Saigon players, which enabled it to repay the domestic players VND10 million each, and the two foreigners, $2,000.

    Dai said the club is considering cutting more players’ salaries to save costs.

    The club needs a VND41 billion budget to be playing at the V-League, the National Cup, and the AFC Cup next year, but its sponsor Xuan Thanh Group has only agreed to disburse VND25 billion.

    “The biggest headache is thus to find supports for the remaining VND16 billion,” he said.

    No money help

    In a document sent to the city’s authorities, chairman Thuy cited the cases of other provinces, which have actually opened their pockets to assist the clubs headquartered in their areas.

    “Thanh Hoa FC has been supported VND40 billion per season, and Vissai Ninh Binh too received VND20 billion a season from the province,” he said.

    “Meanwhile, over two years representing for the city’s football and won trophies, we have never received any financial supports from the municipal authorities,” he added.

    However, deputy director of the city’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Mai Ba Hung, said the city may not be able to assist SGXT with money.

    “We can only support the club in terms of youth training, accommodation and practice places, and competing venues…but not money,” he said.

    Asked what if SGXT eventually fails to afford its budget and thus has to be dissolved, Hung said it will be a great pity.

    “But we will start everything from the beginning,” he said.

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