It’s October, 4 and there’s still no word on whether we will have the Philippine Football League season. It was supposed to start last month but of course, that along with all other plans went south when the Covid numbers went north.
My former boss, Jack Biantan, who is helping prospective PFL club CDO Rapids, wants the season cancelled all together and is pushing for a February re-start. (Since returning from the UK, Jack has become a football dad, supporter and organizer and Cagayan and has resumed his old job as football journalist, one of the few veterans in the country). Ernie Nierras of the Laguna Stallions wants to play, while the newly-formed Cebu Football Club can muster an all-local squad should the need arise. I assume the ADT, Maharlika, United City and Kaya FC can field a squad too.
I asked Coco Torre, the PFL commissioner, for his take on Jack’s ideas but he has yet to send his reaction. I can understand his situation. Or rather, I can’t relate. He and the league is caught between a rock and a hard place; the hard place being December’s Suzuki Cup, which was originally scheduled last year.
I know CFC has been paying its players as early as April, when some began to fly in to train, canceling the season means it has been paying its players for nothing.
On the other hand, if what Jack says is true, that some teams are having financial difficulties–which is understandable, given how businesses are barely surviving these days–deciding to go ahead with the season might lead to a sad repeat of Global Makati, which struggled to have a complete squad when it couldn’t afford to pay salaries.
And if the PFL does push through with its season, it only has seven weeks until Dec. 5, when the Suzuki Cup keeps off. Seven weeks to prepare and play? Last year, six teams stayed in the Laguna bubble for close to three weeks for the compressed season.
We were supposed to learn after the Sept. 30 meeting of the fate of the season, but given the circumstances, I guess it’s understandable why there’s no answer to the PFL question yet.