Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fair Play: Thumbs down on PFF's compensation plan

EVER since I read about the PFF’s plan to compensate European clubs for the services of their players who play for the Philippine national team, I’ve wanted to get Dan Palami’s take on it.

The plan, I think, is iffy at best and would be a waste of money that would have been best suited to, say, development of local referees?

If the PFF pays Fulham or the other European clubs so they’d be more inclined to release Neil Etheridge, Stephen Shrock, Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Paul Mulders and the rest, what does that tell clubs like Kaya, Global, Stallions and Loyola, who have always been more than willing to release their players?

Sure, Fulham and the like are miles apart from the local clubs but I think the UFL clubs suffer more than the European clubs when they release their players for the national team, especially when the league is ongoing.

So I asked Dan his take on that.

I got a grimace.

Admitting that it sets a bad precedent as local clubs would be asking “What about us?” Dan said, “What he (PFF president Nonong Araneta is saying is that the PFF is willing to do everything to make sure the players will be able to participate in this tournament.”

This tournament being the Suzuki Cup, when all these things started.

And the Europe-based players’ participation is going to be a touchy subject, that the PFF, national team management, players and local clubs will have to deal with.

Everybody knows these guys bring a different level of football in the national team, but for events like the Suzuki Cup, if we’re lucky, they show up a week before the tournament and of course, will take the spots of those who have been with the camp for weeks, or months even.

And if they don’t show up, well, we miss that bit of competitiveness.

“Yes, there is some resentment,” Dan said, “And it’s understandable because you train for a long time and you hope that you get to play. But it’s also obvious once they (Europe-based players) play, why they get to start.”

In a 23-man team, there are 23 guys who want to be in the starting list, and three wishing to be the sub, if the coach makes a sub. If you keep warming the bench for so long, it gets to you. (Unless of course, if you’re the sub keeper and it is understood only an injury will get you on the field).

Dan hopes that those who make the training camp realize the value of their contribution in the scrimmages, training. He hopes they realize that the competition for spots, is in itself valuable.

I agree. That’s true. But it’s also true that sitting on the bench in every game sucks, especially since this is the national team and everyone in the 23-man pool is a starter in their clubs.

So Dan is cooking a compromise.

“In games when Fifa ranking points are at stake, we are going to field our best lineup, but in friendlies against clubs, like in Chicago, we will let them play,” he said.

Them, of course, being those guys who we don’t see when the national team plays at home, unless of course, the camera pans on the bench.

Aside from that, there is something brewing that the clubs should be really concerned of—the planned changes in the PFF charter that would enable them to be members of equal standings with the FAs, who are, as of now the only members of the PFF.

That is strange considering Philippine football is now powered by the clubs.

I asked Dan what’s happening with the move but he said there’s resistance from some FAs, who are reluctant to admit the clubs into their fold.

The PFF has the most unique set-up—an FA-based membership—and that’s something the AFC Vision Asia wants changed.  And of course, those who don’t want any changes, or are afraid of them, are FAs who’ve done nothing for years except ask when’s there next doleouts from the PFF?

Like I told Dan, “We’ve had this same setup for years, it’s time for a change.”

Don’t you think?

1 comment:

Maripaz Custodio said...

These dinasorous FAs have been here for generations. They are the main reason why our grassroots are not competitive. RIFA and the clubs have been a more regular and dependable avenue for training and competitions. But they have no funding. It would be ideal, in fact, superb if all personalities from ALL camps would get over their self-importance and sit down and make a charter that is CHILD BASED. No politics, not carrying a personality on their backs, no greed, everybody an anonymous and just recognize that everything must revolve around children who can and want to play football.