Yangoon: The Yangon United Football Club has signed a joint-venture agreement with BEC Tero Sasana FC of Bangkok to contract with Arsenal, the Premier League club in Britain, to offer a youth football training academy before the start of the Myanmar National League season on September 5, according to the state-run newspaper Myanmar Alin.
As the soccer season nears, soccer observers are talking about Yangon United FC’s owner, Tay Za, who is known to be close to the ruling generals and the owner of Air Bagan, who reportedly invested more than 500 million kyat (US $500,000) into his team this year, according to a source at the Myanmar Football Federation.
Some observers questioned how a Burmese soccer club could expect to recoup such a large investment.
Tay Za told the First Eleven journal that he will pay higher salaries to some players this year, and he plans to distribute 10,000 free jerseys. He also plans to offer free transportation for fans who wish to attend games in Mandalay, about 383 miles north of Rangoon.
Yangon United Club has been scheduled to play a friendly match with Thailand Port FC, Pattaya United and Tero Sasana FC on August 20, 24 and 26 in Thailand. The team will fly in sports reporters from Burma to cover the match.
According to soccermyanmar, an online magazine, Sai Khin Maung Aye, the CEO of Yangon United, said the match against Tero Sasana FC has been canceled because the Thai club will begin league competition in August.
After the league competition in Burma, promising youth players will be sent to Tero Sasana FC of Thailand to improve their skills, according to soccer sources.
Tero Sasana FC’s managing director, Brian Marcar, is American-Burmese, according to sport journalists in Burma.
Salaries for players with Yangon United FC reportedly range from $200 to $1,200 a month. Each game’s best performer is awarded a Man of the Match award of 500,000 kyat ($500).
The president of the club, Pyae Phyo Tay Za, the son of Tay Za, said a shop selling football club products will open soon on Sule Road at Rangoon.
The new professional clubs were formed with a minimum investment of 200 million kyat ($180,000). Some clubs have spent more than 1,000 million kyat ($900,000) to cover costs of salaries, players’ contract fees, transportation, advertising and equipment, according to local sports journalists.