Cash-strapped V. League club unable to muster team ahead of new season

By Nam Anh   December 8, 2020 | 05:08 pm PT
Cash-strapped V. League club unable to muster team ahead of new season
Than Quang Ninh (in blue) play HCMC at the 2020 V. League 1. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
As a new V. League season looms, Than Quang Ninh club faces an existential crisis with no money and only 12 players left.

Quang Ninh is the only V. League club that hasn’t made a single transfer move for the new season. Club chairman Pham Thanh Hung admits that they are in deep financial trouble.

Many key players have left the club during the transfer window and joined other teams. At the moment, Quang Ninh’s first squad has just 12 players, three of whom are injured.

Lacking players, the team had to train with some fans on Monday, with assistant coaches also filling in.

The remaining players on the team are also getting impatient with the current situation. Their contracts with the club are still valid, but they haven’t been paid for four months, along with the bonus for last season. At present, the players have the legal right to terminate their contracts without paying any compensation to the club.

The club’s head coach, Phan Thanh Hung, has also asked to take a leave from the club. He has said that he will wait 30 days for Quang Ninh’s response before deciding on terminating his contract.

The operating budget for Quang Ninh is around VND70-80 billion for each season. Of this, VND30 billion came from their main sponsor, the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group, and the rest from their chairman’s enterprise. However, the sponsor pulled out suddenly this year, plunging the club into a financial mess.

Chairman Hung called for support from Quang Ninh Province People’s Committee before the 2021 season starts, but did not get any response. Hung said he was disappointed and is planning to return the club to the province if he doesn't receive any financial support.

Some sources say that the fate of the Than Quang Ninh club will be decided on December 15, when the northern province's authorities will decide whether to help the club with money or let it dissolve.

Than Quang Ninh has been an ambitious club that has showed great potential. They also have a strong fanbase. The club won the National Cup in 2016 and finished third in V. League 2019. Last season, they placed fourth.

The 2021 season will begin January 9 with the Super Cup match between Hanoi FC and Viettel FC. V. League 1 2021 will start a week later.

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