Weekly CEO Column - Philippines Football League
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Weekly CEO Column

At the Liga Futbol Inc. (LFI) Board of Directors Meeting held on 27 March 2018, the Board made significant decisions, among which was to approve the naming of the inaugural Cup and broadcast of league and cup matches.

Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President and LFI Chairman Mariano V. Araneta announced that we need to move forward and approve these agendas because they are needed to enhance the league. Rightly so, the Board also adopted Professionalizing Philippines Football” as its corporate tagline. It captures the essence of the vision and mission of the LFI, which is to introduce and increase the level of professionalism of football in all aspects. The tagline highlights the LFI’s mission to help uplift the quality of football in the country through its two current competitions. This also aims to amplify the familiarity of the stakeholders of the LFI’s mission through its tagline.

We are also proud to announce that the inaugural cup competition will be named Copa Paulino Alcantara to honor the Filipino football legend who is one of the all-time top scorers for European giants FC Barcelona. In conjunction with this inception, the LFI will launch the Copa Paulino Alcantara logo contest this May with prize money for the eventual winner of the contest.

The Board’s approval of the budget for broadcast is also timely and and we are working hard to secure the best broadcast partner that will help the League grow further and reach a wider audience. The entry of a potential host broadcast partner will be a great addition to the broadcast efforts of the League, which currently includes the live-stream via www.pfltv.ph. In addition, we have introduced the in-game highlight videos of each match that are posted through our Social Media pages. We made this as part of our effort to give our social media followers a more holistic viewing experience at the palm of their hands. This is also made to complement the full replays of each match that is posted on our pfltv.ph platform.

To increase the number of participating clubs, the Board had also mandated the management to prepare a blueprint for the expansion of the League with identifiable targets for the Board’s review. The objective is to increase the number of clubs, review current rules and club football structures in the country, align football stakeholders and participation of non-franchised clubs in the Cup competition.

We have also finalized our collaboration with the Japan Professional Football League (J-League) and Spanish Football League (La Liga) who will provide expert assistance and support to the League and the PFL Clubs. To ensure effective collaboration without overlapping support, we have compartmentalized our collaboration with both the Leagues.

Our collaboration with the J- League is primarily on marketing efforts with holistic workshops for the Clubs. This, to align our collaboration with the AFC in adopting a long term strategic marketing plan for the League. Apart from marketing efforts with the J-League, we have in principle agreed to conduct exchange programmes for the PFL Clubs (management) to visit J-League to gain knowledge and first hand experience. Finally, in view of promoting club football, a pre-season friendly match between champions of PFL against champions of J-League Division 1 is in discussion.

Our collaboration with the La Liga is on exchanging information for development of competition, share know-hows and seminars concerning professional league and club management; and conduct exchange, observation and training programmes for coaches. We have agreed to adopt a long term strategic plan with La Liga and focus on immediate topics which are essential to our League. With the League at its infant stage, our immediate objective is to promote professionalism to our stakeholders on key footballing aspect through a series of workshop with KPIs set within the next 3 years.

Also, in line with the objective to increase the pool of Match Commissioners, the LFI had introduced the Match Commissioner (MC) Development Programme to develop Trainee Match Commissioners using extensive training and assessment based on a set of criteria in relation to topics assessed during the LFI Match Commissioner Seminar 2018. Only Trainees who have undergone and passed the LFI MC Seminar for the preceding League Season and Cup Competition are drafted as Trainee under this Programme. We currently have 6 Trainees and the objective is to increase this number gradually.

Lastly, we will be welcoming a new league partner next week that will help us widen our audience reach through their non-traditional media platforms. The signing ceremony will be held on Monday, 16 April, at the Manila House in Bonifacio Global City,  Taguig. Information on our partnership will be posted on our website and social media platforms.