Philippine Premier League launched as country's new top Football competition
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 23, 2019 11:12 AM
“We believe this is a new dawn for Pinoy club football" - Bernard Sumayao, PPL Commissioner
Philippine club football has a new top tier league with the launch of the Philippine Premier League, or PPL last Wednesday, at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati.
The PPL, a replacement for the Philippines Football League, hopes to have eight teams when play kicks off in late March.
“We believe this is a new dawn for Pinoy club football,” said Bernard Sumayao, the PPL commissioner, at Wednesday's media launch.
The Philippine Football Federation has given Mr. Sumayao and PPL Sports Group Inc. the rights to operate and market the league. Federation president Mariano Araneta is equally enthusiastic.
“A vibrant domestic league is important for the growth of the game and we think the PPL has what it takes to succeed. We are all very excited,” said Mr. Araneta.
As of the moment 11 clubs have signified an interest in joining, but the target is to have eight clubs participating for this year. These included PFL League champs Ceres Negros, Copa Paulino Alcantara holders Kaya-Iloilo, Stallion Laguna, and Green Archers United Globe.
Philippine Air Force is also likely to join. The lineup of clubs is still being finalized.
There will be numerous changes from the previous league. According to Sumayao, instead of a franchise scheme, teams will instead pay an annual registration fee that will be a fraction of the cost from the last two years.
The triple round-robin league will not be purely home-and-away, with matches played in 3-4 grounds in and around Metro Manila. The University of Makati, with a new artificial turf, will be one of the main venues.
However the league does intend to go to the provinces for centralized matches late in the season.
Mr. Sumayao promises a festive atmosphere with live music and other attractions during matchdays.
“We intend to have fan engagement activities during our matches. We want PPL games to be a fun experience for everyone in the family,” said Mr. Sumayao, a 59-year-old Filipino who has been involved in media and content rights in Thailand for the last three decades.
It was also revealed that an online merchandise store and fan magazine will be a part of the league's marketing efforts.
For more information in the coming weeks, visit the league's Social Media Accounts: