|Sơn La players seen practising at the 2019 national cup. The team are expected to receive support to avoid dissolution. — Photo webthethao.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Sơn La Province women’s football team have received a lifeline to avoid going out of business, after reports in recent days that the club was on the precipice.
“Sơn La previously received support from Asia-Pacific Investment Joint Stock Company (APEC) who has stopped since March. This pushed us into difficulties,” said Sơn La head coach Lường Văn Chuyên.
APEC reportedly withdrew its sponsorship after Sơn La failed to present financial reports for 2019 and plans for the 2020 season.
Losing the sponsor meant the players' monthly salary was cut from VNĐ7 million (US$300) to VNĐ1.64 million ($70).
“The club has faced the risk of dissolution several times since last year but the coaching board and members have tried their best to call for support to maintain our activities up to now.
“Now, while waiting for an establishment of the provincial federation, who will take care of calling sponsorship, we are seeking a new sponsor but because of the coronavirus then we could not do anything,” Chuyên said.
Sơn La were established in 2012. They first took part in the national championship in 2016. With total of 25 players initially, the team currently have only 10 and has six additional players on loan from other teams to make up the numbers. This problem was also an issue last season as several players left for other jobs because of the low pay on offer at the club.
The club did receive some good news after a meeting with leaders of the Sơn La’s Centre of Sports Training and Competition on Monday.
Coach Chuyên was asked to send a report on the team showing all the problems, needs and shortages as well as his proposals for these issues.
The report will be reviewed and amended if needed and sent to the province’s Culture and Sports Department for approval.
While waiting, players will train as usual and coaches will work on plans for training and calling sponsorships and coach Chuyên seems confident help is on the way.
After Monday’s meeting, Chuyên told media: “I am told that Thái Sơn Nam Trading Company and some other companies will come to talk with us about sponsorships after the peak of COVID-19.
“We will discuss and find solutions for Sơn La so we can continue competing in this year's championship. Things seem better now,” he added.
A representative from Thái Sơn Nam, the sponsor of the 2019 national women’s football cup, said: “If Sơn La have good plans, we will definitely support them and create favourable conditions for players."
The Việt Nam Football Federation General Secretary Lê Hoài Anh said: “The VFF often support clubs with part of their competition participating fee. Teams in difficulties will receive a higher amount.”
The 2020 national championship is scheduled for the middle of the year when the COVID-19 pandemic is hoped to have eased.
Last November, Thái Nguyên also faced the same problem. They were then saved when T&T Group pledged to support them with better pay, equipment, expenses for training and competing. — VNS