CPL 2 In Further Financial Crisis Before Season Even Starts


Despite the Cambodian Second League planning to start on September 16th, the competition has been thrown into further doubt after the CPL announced a reduction in expenses to be paid to clubs during the 2023-24 season.

The reduction is despite the fact that there has been a record break between the former and present seasons, and that a number of second-tier clubs were forced out of existence due to financial reasons during this time.

To read about the clubs going bust click here.

What are the new expenses to clubs?

According to a document procured by BPVE and sent to CPL 2 clubs, teams will receive $550 for hosting a home match and $650 for traveling to an away match.

The caveat though and what is making clubs angry is that for matches within their own province the $650 fee will be reduced to $300. This means that clubs are generally receiving the same as last season, but at times actually getting far less.

So, clubs are now to receive less than the fees that led to a record number of club closures in the history of Cambodian football.

Is $650 enough to travel to an away game? For many CPL 2 clubs last season, traveling to either Siem Reap, or from Siem Reap this was barely enough to cover transport, let alone cover hotels. Most clubs would simply travel in a day, which obviously put them at a huge footballing disadvantage. And the clubs that did punt for hotels? Most of them are no longer in business.

Factor this in with the fact that the two clubs in Siem Reap will have to go as far afield as Takeo and Sihanoukville this season and the expenses paid make even less sense.

CPL 2 in further financial crisis

And far from just being “unhappy” clouds are genuinely now not only concerned if they can survive and compete, but are genuinely contemplating whether it is even worth having another year of financial insecurity.

Speaking exclusively to BPVE Blaed Perkins Chairman of Siem Reap FC told us “”After one of the toughest and longest off seasons in history, most people would be jumping for joy that League 2 is about to kick off. Months ago we were expecting a bigger, better and improved League 2. Unfortunately just weeks out from the start that is not the case. Not only has the league reduced in size, financial subsidies have in some cases been reduced which is very disappointing for grassroot clubs such as ourselves. I admire what the CPL has done with the top league, that is brilliant. Let’s hope League 2 has the same amount of attention soon”

Angkor City FC owner Charlie Pomroy had similar thoughts, telling us “The CPL and Federation have done amazing work raising the profile of the game in Cambodia with more fans going to games and watching on TV. The top league is amazing! However it cannot be ignored that the support for grassroots clubs financially already well below what is needed and the fact money is being reduced is disheartening, even more so when all we see is top level with already rich owners being helped to find more money from sponsors. Noone I’ve spoken to in League Two is excited about the start, we’re all having sleepless nights wondering how and why we should carry on”

CPL 2 as an afterthought?

Again while everyone congratulates Satoshi, the FFC and the CPL in raising the profile and indeed competitiveness of the CPL, once again clubs are left feeling that the second-tier is being treated as an afterthought – again.

A mere two clubs remain from the 2022 season, both of which are now fearful if they should even contemplate taking part in the division. Losing them would turn CPL 2 into a mere reserve team for rich clubs, a huge retardation of progress within the Cambodian league system. The previous CNNC Cambodian Second Division might not have been perfect, but at least it functioned and had clubs.

And this can sadly only be fixed with more money, money the CPL, or the FFC will simply have to come up with if it is show that it genuinely does care about the development of the game.

This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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