COULD the Philippines Football League’s rough first season be the reason for the demise of FC Meralco Manila? One prominent football figure seems to believe so.
Chief Azkals backer and former Global Cebu FC owner Dan Palami took to Twitter to air his thoughts on the surprising decision of Meralco management to pull plug on the club’s operations.
Like many, Palami was shocked to initially hear the news, but for him, it all made sense from a business standpoint.
“I expected FC Meralco Manila to be one of the more financially and organizationally stable clubs in the country, so their fold-up comes as a shock,” said Palami in a series of tweets posted on Tuesday from his official Twitter account @dscpalami.
“But then again, from a purely business point of view, it’s a prudent decision considering the first season experience of all the clubs,” he added.
I expected FC Meralco Manila to be one of the more financially and organizationally stable clubs in the country, so their foldup comes as a shock. But then again, from a purely business point of view, it's a prudent decision considering the 1st season experience of all the clubs— dan stephen palami (@dscpalami) January 9, 2018
Palami also responded curtly when a newspaper editor from Cebu replied with well wishes for a second season for the PFL.
“If the second season is run the same way, it’s almost a guarantee that more clubs will opt out,” he shared.
If the 2nd season is run the same way, it's almost a guarantee that more clubs will opt out. https://t.co/IuE4EouSYd— dan stephen palami (@dscpalami) January 9, 2018
It has been a rough start for the PFL after such a promising beginning early May of 2017. The league struck a deal with government station PTV-4 to televise the afternoon games.
However, the station stopped televising games altogether midway through the season for undisclosed reasons, leaving fans and team owners disgruntled as the league was left to make do with livestreaming done by league and team staffers.
Based on Meralco’s statement, sustainability could be the key factor in their decision to put an end to the club’s operations.
For an ambitious home and away national league format like the PFL, a club definitely needs large finances to pay for their players and staff, airfare and accommodation when they play away games and the resources for logistics when hosting.
The lack of return of investment, which started when the league failed to secure a stable television partner, would definitely sting even the wealthiest of owners.
However, Palami believed that it’s not entirely the fault of the PFL. Supporters of the club should also do their part if they want more sustainable teams and a sustainable league in the near future, as attendance has been an issue for most of the clubs in the league, particularly for the clubs based in the National Capital Region.
While fan base of provincial clubs like Ceres Negros, Global Cebu and Davao Aguilas has been booming, it’s been the exact opposite for clubs in the NCR.
“The amount of resources that club owners allocate for their operations is staggering,” Palami continued.
“The fans can help by spending money to watch games, buy merchandise, and even offer to be a sponsor. We need to support our clubs before it’s too late.”
The amount of resources that club owners allocate for their operations is staggering, the fans can help by spending money to watch games, buy merchandise, and even offer to be a sponsor. We need to support our clubs before it's too late.— dan stephen palami (@dscpalami) January 9, 2018