Nam Định (in yellow) vs Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh in the V.League 1 2020. Photo 24h.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Four teams in the V.League 1 have proposed scrapping relegation this season, purportedly to ensure Việt Nam have the best chance in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the AFF Cup.
Sông Lam Nghệ An, SHB Đà Nẵng, Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh and Nam Định made the suggestion at the online meeting held by the Việt Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF) on Tuesday.
“With the goal of ensuring the Việt Nam team have time and good players to participate in World Cup qualifiers and the AFF Cup 2020, I think if the league resumes, there will be a lot of pressure and unfortunate injuries to the players," said Bùi Xuân Hòa, CEO of SHB Đà Nẵng.
“To solve those issues, I support the league not having a relegation place. Besides, we can play without foreign players and only play the first half of the season. Domestic players will be able to participate in many matches and the selection will be easier, avoiding unfortunate injuries,” said Hòa.
“And if the V.League 1 does not have relegation, what about the V.League 2? I recommend next year two relegated V.League 1 teams be relegated and two V.League 2 teams promoted," Hòa added.
Eliminating relegation would likely decrease the quality of play, as a large number of teams will have nothing to play for, and it's no coincidence the four teams making the proposal have all been tipped to struggle this season.
Removing the dreaded drop would also allow teams not competing for the title to drastically slash their wage bills by releasing foreign and naturalised players.
With the average salary of US$5,000 for a foreign player, clubs can save about $20,000 per month if they release with three foreign players and a naturalised player.
“Teams can’t compete, there is no bonus. But salary and daily activities of players must be maintained normally. We have season tickets that have been registered by fans but cannot be issued because we have to deduct money from the first two rounds. These things greatly affect the finances of the club,” said coach Nguyễn Văn Sỹ of Nam Định.
No relegation would bring at least one benefit, namely allowing clubs to give younger players a chance to shine. — VNS