September launch for Qatar professional Q-League

The Qatar Football Association has launched a project aimed at making the country’s football leagues completely professional with its Professional League Development Committee introducing major elements of the new league’s programs at the start of the next football season in September. “Having the clubs to work together with professional experts is a significant component to launching a league that can have immediate credibility and success. Required funds will be made available to the clubs to meet the challenges. We hope we can attain goals, say in 2012,” ” PLDC Chairman Ahmed A al-Sulaiti told Suman Malla of the Gulf Times.

According to Ulrich M Linke, General Manager of the committee, each of the premier division clubs in the Q-League will be provided with foreign experts, who will assist and train club’s staff to manage those departments and make sure everything is correct in the fundamentals, organisationally and financially. “The main objective of the project is to cultivate European-style professional clubs that can help develop strong players for national teams," he said, adding that foreign experts will help transform the football teams into legal entities in order to enable them to develop. “They will gradually hand over the charge to the local authorities,” he explained.

Pointing to the existing disparity in pay package between foreign and local players, Linke said the committee will be emphasising on foreign players of high quality below 31 years of age at the time of signing, barring a few exceptional cases. “We need to provide bonus and incentives to local players on top of what they are already earning now. We should also care for the reserve players," he said.

Each club will work on developing a wider fan base through customer binding programs and hospitality strategy - including a season ticket system. Experts will be exploring various avenues to enhance clubs’ revenues, such as sales of broadcasting rights and shirt sponsorship.

The formulation of a media policy will allow promotion of matches, the clubs and the league. We would take the help of TV and mobile phone operators. Some of the top players in Qatar’s key markets would be used as role models to tap international sponsors,” he said.