Organizers are taking on the challenge of forming a new club-league football tournament.
Introducing changes can’t be done overnight following the launch of the Philippine Premier League.
That is why PPL commissioner Bernie Sumayao is asking fans for some patience and time to make things happen.
“This is not done overnight. There are a lot of challenges,” said Sumayao during yesterday’s launch at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati.
The PPL, which replaced the Philippines Football League, is seeking an increase of participants from six to eight teams when action kicks off in late March.
Sumayao believes that with an increase in participation, they hope to have not just a first division level of competition, but the inclusion of a second division as well.
“We believe this is a new dawn for Pinoy club football,” added Sumayao, who talked about the changes in the presence of Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
Sumayao believes that many factors will make things happen for the PPL.
This includes the involvement of sponsors, and the introduction and inclusion of local government units which have football in their sports programs.
As of the moment, there are 11 clubs which have signified an interest in joining, which has exceed the target is to have eight clubs participating for this year.
These included PFL League champion Ceres Negros, Copa Paulino Alcantara holders Kaya-Iloilo, Stallion Laguna, and Green Archers United Globe.
While Philippine Air Force is also likely to join, the lineup of clubs is still being finalized.
The changes in club-level football competition took place following the withdrawal of the Davao FC Aguilas late last year.
Among these changes includes efforts to do away with a franchise scheme.
Here, teams will instead pay an annual registration fee that will be a fraction of the cost from the last two years.
Then, there’s the triple round-robin format.
Games will not be purely home-and-away, and there will be matches played in 3-4 grounds in and around Metro Manila.
And, the University of Makati, with a new artificial turf, will be one of the main venues.