With the Cambodian Premier League now inviting applications to join the national second division, we offer some advice for prospective football moguls on what you need to run a Cambodian football club.
You need money
This might seem fairly obvious, but you will need money to start a Cambodian football club and that is even if your players don’t get paid. The current CPL 2 will likely have clubs from at least 3 provinces in and that means a lot of travel.
On top of travel you will also have to put your players up, feed them at games, and of course at a bare minimum rent a home stadium.
Of course there is some income from the league, gate receipts and merchandise, but unless you are a household name then these will be minimal.
For a new club, budget $50k just for survival, up to $200k to challenge for promotion and 500k a year to kick it with the big boys in the top flights.
To read about the finances of running a football club click here
What do you need for club licensing?
Firstly fill out 13 forms, which cover various different elements of club licensing and apply by August 31st. Of course these are not just mere forms, but include everything you need to qualify for a club license in CPL 2.
Currently this means having a head coach with the equivalent of at least a B license, as well as at least 8 officials, such as coaches and the like, although up to 15 can be registered.
Player wise you will need to register at least 18, with a maximum of 35 being allowed. Six of these players can be foreigners, four of whom can be on the pitch at any time.
You can read about the CPL foreigner rule here
Potential Sheik’s should keep in mind though that foreign talent costs a bit more than local players.
Where to locate your Cambodian football club?
And of course you will need a place to run your Cambodian football club, as they say location, location, location. Phnom Penh is quits literally full of clubs, but also seems to always be able to accommodate more.
Kandal is another good option, with the AEU Stadium currently vacant. Siem Reap recently lost Soltilo, but with 3 major sides still there, it is a bit saturated.
You can ignore most provinces too, despite the wish for a “club in each province”. Essentially you need foreigners to compete and they don’t want to live in the boonies. But, what about Svau Rieng and Prey Veng you ask! Both clubs are in Phnom Penh and then go to the province for their “home” matches.
Previously this left Sihanoukville as the biggest “livable” city not to have a team. This has since been remedied with the formation of Life FC, who are expected to take part in CPL 2 this season.
You can read about Life FC here.
And that leaves us with Kampot as currently the best city to start a football team in. Not only does it have a stadium with floodlights, but there are just enough bars, clubs and western restaurants to keep your foreign stars happy.
And that is what you need to run a Cambodian football club – you have until August 31st to prepare.
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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