60 per cent cut sought for hiring HK Stadium
The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) has asked the government for a 60 per cent cut in hiring Hong Kong Stadium to accommodate more matches in the new season.
League champions South China and Kitchee will use Hong Kong Stadium for all their home matches next season as Mong Kok Stadium is undergoing renovation.
According to the proposal, the HKFA has requested hiring charges be reduced from HK$150,000 to HK$60,000. This applies to domestic competitions only, while charges involving overseas teams will remain the same - HK$150,000 or 20 per cent of the total gate receipts, whichever is higher.
'This is going to benefit the clubs because they need to host more matches at Hong Kong Stadium in the next two seasons after the closure of Mong Kok for renovation,' said Brian Leung Hung-tak, who was re-elected association chairman last weekend for another two-year term.
The association's deal with Hong Kong Stadium expires this month. It has paid the government HK$3.37 million in ground charges in the past two seasons.
'We are quite confident of matching that figure under the proposed deal because there will be more than 20 domestic match days in the new season at Hong Kong Stadium,' said HKFA assistant general secretary Lam Shing-kui, who quit the association yesterday after nine years' service. 'If we also take hiring charges for matches involving overseas teams into calculation, the authorities will definitely not get less than before and perhaps even more.'
Most clubs prefer not to hire Hong Kong Stadium because they can barely cover charges in gate receipts.