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Thai FA ‘seeking financial support’ after sponsorship and media-rights issues

The Football Association of Thailand is seeking financial support to see it through its current cash flow problems caused by media rights-holder disputes and a lack of sponsorship support.

The Bangkok Post reports that Toyota’s decision to pull out of a sponsorship deal for the Thai League Cup has impacted the governing body’s financial woes. The FAT is also currently embroiled a dispute with broadcaster TrueVisions over changes to the Thai league schedule, with both sides refusing to back down.

The FAT wants to resume the Thai League 1 season on September 12 and run it until May 15, 2021. TrueVisions says it is unable to broadcast live matches beyond October 25, which is the end date for its contract.

TrueVisions is threatening legal action over the schedule change, and has also demanded a reduction in its rights fees due to a lower number of matches being delivered than stipulated in its original contract.

According to the Bangkok Post, FAT president Somyot Poompanmoung is looking to borrow from “the world governing body Fifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Asean Football Federation (AFF) and other sources in the country”.

Speaking after the association’s recent general assembly, he added: “The local competitions are set to get underway soon and it is not possible for us to generate money through sponsorship and other such means in such a short time.”

Poompanmoung said Prawit Wongsuwon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand has asked Sports Authority of Thailand governor Gongsak Yodmanee to help the FAT. He added that the King Power Group, among other companies, had promised to help.

Poompanmoung added: “The board has approved to take loans from sources both in and outside the country and we are looking for six-month to one-year interest-free loans. I believe we have a very good relationship with Fifa and the AFC, which gives me the confidence that we will be able to get the needed money.”