03 May 2013

A ‘New Road’ for club football - five ways ANFA can help Nepali clubs blossom

Nepali football hit another pothole when the country’s oldest football club, New Road Team (NRT), decided it would not participate in 2013/14 (B.S. 2070) edition of the Martyrs League ‘A’ Division.

As is tradition in Nepal’s football sector, NRT were quick to blame the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) for their predicament. Though a few of their complaints certainly seem valid, it is hard to have sympathy for an 80 year-old club that has failed to develop its own football facilities, an active fanbase or a youth academy.

Club football has a long and winding road ahead of it!
NRT cited their massive debt payments as the principal reason for their withdrawal from Nepal’s top division and hinted that ANFA should have given them a fatter check to cover their losses.

History shows us that if you give a Nepali club 1 Rupee they will spend 2 Rupees and if you give them 1 crore they will spend 2 crores, so it is difficult to envision that any extra subsidy to NRT by ANFA would have healed NRT’s wounds. Besides – if ANFA sent NRT a bonus, they would have to do the same for every other ‘A’ Division club which would inevitably create inflation in the player market thus putting every club right back to where they started.

There are however other more prudent actions ANFA can take to help Nepali clubs develop, become sustainable and more professional. Below are 5 of them. Perhaps NRT, with their revered stature in Nepali football and leadership role at ANFA (NRT’s president Narendra Shrestha is an ANFA Vice President and on the AFC Youth Competitions Committee) should have been publicly fighting for some of points below instead of taking their ball and going home.

Five ways ANFA can help Nepali clubs blossom:

1. Create an independent league management office

Currently, club officials play a large role in the daily running of the Martyrs League. Therefore much of the league’s structure such as scheduling, allocation of prize money and even referee appointments, tend to favor some clubs over others.

An independent league management office made up of professionals that are not associated with any clubs would help make the Martyrs League much more fair to all participants and also help inject some competence to the governance of the League.

2. Introduce club licensing

Clubs in general are averse to change. Club licensing is a way to force clubs to professionalize themselves by creating minimum standards they must meet to obtain a “license” that will allow them to participate in football competitions.

Such standards could be as simple as having to have a club’s logo on their jerseys or as complex as a club needing to have their own stadium. The AFC has many club licensing templates that ANFA could easily modify and adopt. It’s not rocket science!

3. Provide incentives for clubs to professionalize themselves

There are many activities that Nepali clubs neglect because they do not see much benefit in spending resources on them. For example clubs virtually have no marketing and fan development strategies because League ticketing is controlled by ANFA.

If ANFA were to give clubs a quota of tickets and a club’s income from a match came solely from being able to sell their own tickets, then they would be far more inclined to start developing a fanbase.

4. Transform the prize money system

How much money does the winner of the FIFA World Cup earn? It is a question that most people would probably have to Google. We however know exactly how much Nepali clubs will earn by winning the Martyrs League, NCell Cup and the Aaha Gold Cup.

Prize Money is a Nepali obsession that needs to be de-emphasized. Teams that win will undoubtedly get better sponsors and more local support, so it would be fairer and create more competitive football if the prize money pot was transformed into a “participation fee” that was divided somewhat equally amongst all clubs.

In the 2012 English Premier League for example first place side Manchester City received 60 million Pounds from the Premier League while last placed Wolverhampton Wanderers were allotted 40 million Pounds (67% of what the first place team received). Meanwhile in Nepal the first place side receives 78 lakhs (75 lacks prize money + 3 lacks participation fee), second place 38 lakhs and teams nine through sixteen a measly 3 lakhs (4% of what the first placed team received).

5. Encourage long-term contracts and transfer market

In Nepal players are only given one-year contracts, thus clubs lose out on a valuable income source – transfer fees. Furthermore, because players are able to walk away from their clubs so easily, clubs are reluctant to develop youth academies and invest in the development of their current players.

By creating policies that encourage long-term contracts such as clear player transfer guidelines and strong penalties for players that break their contracts (and similar penalties for clubs that do not pay their players on time), clubs would be more likely to sign players to long-term deals which would give them an opportunity to then sell players down the road if they needed to raise capital.


  1. Great article as always by MR.Biplav Gautam, I would say if ANFA have some 1 like him then we could possibly positive changes in Nepal´s Football, rite now ANFA totally lacks proper idea's and initiatives needed for the development of football. All 5 points equally vital and must needed and I hope that ANFA at least would adobt´s 2 of them but I know current ANFA is "HOPELESS" !

  2. I agree with your comment regarding transformation of the prize money.....i think the most important and basic for a football club is the infrastructure...lets set the rules for infrastructure like practice ground and academy system must for all A division clubs in the first phase which has to be initiated by ANFA then clubs and ANFA should move hand in hand in earning revenue for the sustainability of the club. The advantage of academy is there is the possibility of wealthy parents can donate some money if their children is selected and associated in some clubs academy...this sounds awkward at first but very fruitful in future...generate package to include local communities who can be the good earning source.

  3. I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing. 유니벳

  4. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. บาคาร่า 1688

  5. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. วิธีไขว้บอล ส เต็ ป 4

  6. Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information! fishing god เครดิตฟรี

  7. hi was just seeing if you minded a comment. i like your website and the thme you picked is super. I will be back. 메이저사이트

  8. I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. ดูบอล

  9. You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! 안전사이트

  10. In point of fact, there are websites which are intended to be online stores for football aficionados and fans. Most of these websites offer stylish and trendy football jerseys. Thus, University of Tennessee Gifts it is safe to say that the online stores can make shopping for a football gear simple and without any hassle at all.

  11. I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... ข่าวกีฬาฟุตบอล

  12. Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. ufabet

  13. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. ข่าวกีฬาสดใหม่

  14. This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. 유니벳

  15. I'm glad I found this web site, I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to.Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me if possible feel free to let me know, im always look for people to check out my web site. เล่นคาสิโนสด