DISCIPLINE is said to be the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Whether it’s an individual or institution, you need to have some discipline to be successful.
With the global economic scenario looking rather bleak, many governments, including some in the Middle East, have adopted mixed strategies, like curbing wasteful expenditure and imposing spending cuts, to limit its negative impact.
Though Qatar’s economy has proved time and again that it’s resilient against such global downturns, we need to be prudent when it comes to matters of finance. I must commend the Ministry of Culture and Sports for taking some concrete steps towards this, asking most national federations to rework on their budgets.
Consequently, the Qatar Football Association’s (QFA) decision to form a Financial Transparency Committee is a welcome one. Some Qatari clubs have been in the red in recent times and the QFA has made it clear that they need to balance their books. The proposed body will’ve members representing all stakeholders and it’ll help clubs tackle the challenges they could face.
The new mechanism is believed to be based on the AFC’s financial criteria and also UEFA’s Financial Fair Play concept, being successfully implemented in Europe since 2011. If executed in letter and spirit, the new regulations should improve the overall fiscal health of clubs.
The existing norms themselves make it clear clubs can’t repeatedly spend more than their generated revenues and that they shouldn’t have any outstanding dues, either to other clubs (for transfer) or to their employees, including players and coaches.
Unfortunately, these regulations haven’t been strictly implemented and, coupled with the absence of a competitive management system at many clubs, including some in Qatar, things have come to such a pass.
All these point to the lack of professionalism in Asian football, particularly in West Asia. Even the AFC is aware of it and that’s why it has appointed dedicated development officers for different regions of the continent, to work with its Member Associations and Leagues to achieve total professionalism.
I hope the new financial regulations, initiated not only by Qatar but also proposed to be implemented in some other Gulf countries too, together with the support of AFC, will herald a new dawn in West Asian football.