On the other side stand Vietnam’s football governing body the VFF, and digital television services provider AVG, both of whom signed a 20-year deal last year. According to the contract, the VFF awarded AVG exclusive ownership of TV rights from the 2012 season at a cost of VND6 billion (US$286,000), and a ten percent increase each year.
Clubs gave their support to the VPF because they said the firm works to promote the value of their product -- football games – and the development of Vietnamese football.
Nguyen Minh Son, Becamex Binh Duong football club chairman, said he backs VPF CEO Nguyen Duc Kien in refusing AVG as the owner of TV rights for 20 years.
Earlier this month, Vietnam Television came to a preliminary agreement with VPF to buy TV rights of the 2012 Super League for VND7 billion ($333,300) -- a billion dong more than the deal with AVG.
“The VFF has caused a loss of the rights of clubs,” Son added.
Khatoco Khanh Hoa FC chairman Le Tien Anh called on the VFF to return to clubs their right to decide their product. Earlier, VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy argued that the VFF is the only legal owner of the leagues’ matches.
“Actually, I don’t care if VFF or VPF has the legal authority to sell TV rights of league games, but it must be sold at its true value.
“It is definitely unacceptable if the price of TV rights the VFF sells for a whole season is not enough to buy a single player.
“On average, the 28 clubs in the top two leagues spend VND1.5 trillion ($71.4 million) a year, and the VFF has sold the TV rights of the leagues for VND6 billion a year, or 0.004 percent of this spending.
“In Europe, the value of TV rights makes up 60-70 percent of the income of clubs,” Anh said.
It’s a contradiction to compare Vietnam’s Super League with Europe’s high-profile and extremely profitable leagues, but it’s even more contradictory if the VFF constrains the inevitable progress of domestic leagues for 20 years.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC chairman Huynh Mau added that most clubs trust and expect the VPF to find a suitable solution for the better development of Vietnam’s football.