Head of HKFA Calls for Betting Profits to Fund Local Football
Betting on football matches in Hong Kong is a major business: from July 2012 to June 2013 the total turnover from football betting was HK$50.6 billion.The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Football Association, Mark Sutcliffe, has been campaigning for some of the profits from football betting to be used to improve local football. He proposes that HK$100 million be given annually to the local sport in order to help raise its profile and improve facilities.
Local football in Hong Kong is in urgent needs of funds. The planned national football training center at Tseung Kwan O is still far from being complete and there are talks of reducing its scope. There is a new professional league starting next season which will need funds, and clubs are always complaining of a lack of funds.
According to Sutcliffe a top footballer in Hong Kong only receives around HK$16,000 a year in support from the government compared to the HK$2.25 million spent on each athlete in the build-up to the London Olympics.
If Sutcliffe’s idea is accepted then funds would triple, from the present HK$33 million to HK$100 million, and the situation would immediately be far better.