Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How (NOT) to form a football club

How NOT to form a football club
by different players as told to rick olivares

With the rapid growth of football in the Philippines, people are putting up tournaments, academies, and teams. It’s all good as the more people who play the game, the better it is for the sport.

Here is a simple and quick guide on HOW NOT TO FORM A FOOTBALL TEAM.

Choose a head coach like the way the Church would choose a Pope or a man his wife.
When getting a head coach, get someone NOT because he took a coaching course but because he understands and knows the game. Someone who can see plays unfolding a second or two before it actually does. Doesn’t mean that if he played in a high level means he’s qualified he knows how to coach. Because coaching isn’t just about tactical formations and substituting players. It is that and a whole lot more.

Having said that, get someone with a very good Emotional Quotient. One who doesn’t flip out with every mistake by his players or the referees. And I do mean flip out like it’s the end of the world. Your coach SHOULD NOT walk out on practice when the players aren’t taking things seriously because the funny thing is he wants to be taken seriously after that by the players.

The head coach is supposed to be the fount of all the know how. You CANNOT get someone who gets his strategies from the internet and YouTube and who isn’t present during practice and instead has one of the players conduct it. Then come game time, he changes the starting line-ups.

The players are your biggest commodity
Let’s face it. The Philippines does not have a professional football league. Yes, we are getting there but for the next several years (maybe more than a decade from now), it’s all amateur and semi-pro. That means many players will have day jobs with a few being fulltime players.

Now some players only want the basic necessities – a room they can call their own, a proper bathroom with running cold and hot water, a bed where they can sleep and not a mattress, and a kitchen where they can cook. They’d rather cook their own food than take a cab to go to a restaurant. And remember, a kitchen. Because a balcony is not a kitchen.

I am sure this is so much more manageable than giving cars or outlandish contracts like Php 150,000 a month to a national player who really looks forward to playing in another country rather than staying and helping your club and your league grow.

But can you blame him? It really isn’t economically viable right now.

And should you, the team owner and the new coach, have foreign players suiting up for you, try not to have six of them share a room that is meant for three with a television set smaller than a laptop screen and a refrigerator as small as microwave toaster.

Remember, it is their performance on the field and their demeanor off the pitch that will attract fans and sponsors to your glorious cause.

And the team management should release the salaries on time. It is difficult for players to ask repeatedly what is due to them. It is rather difficult for four players to share one McDonald’s combo meal amongst themselves. A coach wants the players thinking of training and playing and not if their next pay check will be delayed for a month or two.

How can they win a game if they are not eating properly?

And furthermore, a coach should not worry if his key players will show up for a match because they are upset that they have not been paid for several months now.

Treat the team sponsor like royalty
Football isn’t on solid ground yet. The jury is still out if it is sustainable. The head coach and the team owner must know that getting team sponsors isn’t like a walk in the park. While some teams have been around for more than a decade that doesn’t mean they have a track record.

A team owner will have to bite the bullet and shell out some cash. Otherwise, if a coach or a team manager can’t, then they have no business in football.

Now if your club manages to fool get a sponsor, make sure you sign proper contracts, and provide proper receipts of all expenditures and not pieces of bond paper where everything is handwritten. Everything must be documented and accounted for. After all, you want to make them happy so they will come back the following year.

Furthermore, the head coach and the team owners must be very honest in their dealings such as:
·      Informing prospective new sponsors that they have a sponsor and that they have not liquidated their previous expenses and payroll.
·      Signing all players to proper contracts. A person’s word may be considered a bond, but that signed and notarized contract is security and protection against lying sonofabitches.
·      Making sure that the proper and actual salaries of the staff and players are sent to the sponsor and they are not changed three times in one month.
·      And lastly, giving out all the products, bonuses, and miscellaneous items that were given by the sponsors for the entire team. This doesn’t mean that the coach should sell their cases of Gatorade for cash or use them for their other projects that are unrelated to their team.

One cannot go through several sponsors in the span of a couple of years because that says something about the viability of it all. That and someone not fulfilling their part of the bargain.

Now if your prospective coach, players, and team sponsor can adhere to all of this, I do not see any reason why a team will not be motivated to play to win. Then you will be successful in your campaigns year in and out.


NEXT: How NOT to form a national team.


  1. Sir ric , I just got rumor , but there was one football club in div1 that offers free dinner after the game , pero kung talo uuwing gutom ang mga players . pero kung panalo "unli rice" daw sila . hahaha. I wonder if the rumor is true but obviously it did happened . maybe motivational tactics or what .

  2. This is the mild version believe it or not.