“The way I see it,” Dolly Parton once said, “if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” The taste of success is always more appreciable when it is the outcome of sweat and tears. The same applies to those seeking success in the arena of football.
Two clubs affiliated with the Goa Football Association (GFA) have taken direct entry into the Goa Professional League (GPL) after paying for the same, and the third club has asked for entry into the All India Football Federation (AIFF) I-League.
Geno Sports Club and Pax of Nagoa have been accepted into the GPL after paying Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 30 lakhs respectively to GFA. And, by doing so, have opted for a shortcut in place of hard work.
Geno SC has been playing in the GFA first division and, therefore, was just a step away from the top league of Goa. Had they worked hard, they would have qualified without the lakhs spent on direct entry in the matter of just a season.
Pax of Nagoa was promoted from the third division to the second division in the recently concluded I-League and was just two seasons away from qualifying for the GPL.
Both teams invested big time to get direct entry to a league when they could have qualified by spending the same amount on a professional structure with an emphasis on improving the lot of their players. Players in all leagues of GFA are paid a pittance.
GFA was in a financial mess when Caitano Fernandes was elected president, and he was elected primarily because he promised to pump money into the association. That he has kept to his election promise is good, and that he should not be expected to spend his own money all the time is also true.
But, is getting money from clubs by offering direct entry into the top league the right way forward?
Football is about hard work and reward. Hard work in this case implies players giving their best and reward means financial benefits to players.
Just imagine how much the players would benefit and the reward both clubs could have obtained had just half that amount been spent by each team on their players.
It would, without a doubt, leave the football ecosystem on a good spin. It has not happened because GFA still does not have the ability to perceive the outcomes of its actions.
The letter from Dempo Sports Club to AIFF is nothing short of ridiculous.
The once famous club, after spending millions for years and after withdrawing from the I-League, writes asking for a direct entry when the team failed to get promoted from the second division of the I-League last season.
It is sad that the owner of the five-time champion club, Shrinivas Dempo, thought of taking the easy way instead of trying to find out why his team, in which he has invested so much, failed to be promoted.
The wrong needs to be corrected before buying one’s way ahead of others.
Dempo Sports Club, which won the National Football League five times, began its slide after coach Armando Colaco was sacked. Though many knew why, it was always kept under wraps.
The story of the two A’s of Dempo SC is well known. Non-performers have been occupying centre stage in place of professionals, and football today is run professionally.
Yet, Goa is yet to wake up to this truth. Players not fit to play, coaches not fit to coach and people not fit to run academies are at the helm of affairs because football is seeing money.
If money is now being used as a shortcut to fame, football in Goa will end dismally. When there was money, those in charge did not utilise it appropriately.
The money received by GFA from the two clubs is definitely going to ease the pressure on Caitano’s wallet. Clubs need to realise that GFA needs a professional structure that can be established with fresh thinking. If not, there will be no rainbow even after the rains.