THE Philippines Football League, which has apparently rebranded to Philippine Premier League (PPL), is looking to fill the void left by the Davao Aguilas to ensure the continuation of the operations of the struggling national football league.
PPL commissioner Bernie Sumayao confirmed the withdrawal of the Aguilas, leaving the league with only five clubs.
“I have been informed about the withdrawal of the Davao Aguilas and have received it with a heavy heart,” Sumayao said in a statement. “When an important team departs the league, it is always a cause of concern.”
“However, we have also been approached by a number of teams that have expressed strong interest in joining the PPL,” he was quick to add. “We are currently evaluating the merits of each applicant.”
Cedelf Tupas of the Inquirer broke the news about the Aguilas' departure.
Sumayao enumerated the struggles that the league is going through since he took over, rattling off the lack of revenue, sponsorships, TV coverage, and limited attendance.
But the league commissioner sought for understanding from stakeholders.
“This is where it becomes important to have a unified stance, strength in numbers,” Sumayao said. “Where politics need to give way to discipline and compassion. In order for the league to prosper, the team owners must also be able to make sense of the financial burden it has to undertake and somehow find a way to recover their investments.”
“It must have the help and support to generate its own revenue, which will lead to financial independence,” he added. All of this will take time, but we need to start now. It all starts with a small step with all stakeholders moving in the same direction.”
Sumayao still assured the opening of the next season in March.
“The PPL will soon actively engage in news dissemination, give periodic updates about its plans on the development of the league, and conduct regular communication exchanges for fans on social media. See you all at the PPL kick-off in March 2019.”