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  • Justin Grimm

A New Era of the MPL has Begun

Image Property of the Mongolian Premier League

In February, the Mongolian Football Federation, Football League Council, and the Mongolian Sports Corporation announced a major restructuring that they expect will revolutionize not only the Mongolian Premier League, but the entire development of football in the country. Though the full plan has a six-year timeline with five main objects and one hundred and twenty five sub-objectives, some of these changes, including one of the largest, have already been implemented.

The most immediate change is the operational and supervisory structure of the Mongolian Premier League and First League. Previously, these entities have been under the direct control of the Mongolian Football Federation. Now, the league will operate independently as the Mongolian Premier League, Ltd.

This change will bring the league more in line with European standards in which clubs exist as independent entities.

A new board of directors for the limited corporation has been established and will always include representative from every club in the league. This will give individual clubs greater control over the direction of the league and its activities. B. Hosbayar is serving as the first president of the board.

At the unveiling event held on 20 February, Mongolian marketing company Brainstorm unveiled the league's new logo and branding. Brainstorm is the same company that created the branding for Mongolia's very popular basketball league.

The five main goals unveiled at the presentation are:

  1. Create audience oriented service and improve audience satisfaction

  2. Ensure fair play

  3. Improve live streaming and technology solutions

  4. Improve development and service of clubs and athletes

  5. Improve marketing and governance reform

Major components of these goals include: to further empower the clubs, increase the number of spectators, improve match officiating, invite referees from abroad, improve the quality of live broadcasts, develop foreign relations, create fair competition, regularize statistical data, provide insurance and medical examinations for athletes, and build and improve football infrastructure.

Fans of football in the country should be particularly interested in two of those points, namely creating fair competition and regularizing statistical data.

For years the league and its officials have been accused of match-fixing with it coming to a head over the last few seasons when it was essentially proven. Numerous players, including both domestic and legionnaires, have left the league because of the corruption in Mongolian football in general. Hopefully these reforms signal a genuine commitment to conform to ethical fair play practices.

A second interesting point is to "regularize statistical data" which will hopefully see more widespread tracking and distribution of league data including caps and appearances of players in addition to the more accessible league table data. This process began last season with the announcement that representatives of European associations were helping with the project. Though, there has not yet been any noticeable or significant progress in that area.

The next day after the announcement, the league unveiled two other new agreements. The first is that the board had entered into an agreement with Spanish sportswear manufacturer Kelme to be the official provider of equipment including match balls, game day apparel, and kits for the league. Secondly, the website will be the official and unified ticket sales platform. Fans from anywhere in the world will now be able to purchase tickets.

Whether this restructuring proves to be as beneficial as league officials hope will take time to tell. In six year's time, when all of the objectives have been carried out, perhaps we will look at this change as the defining moment in the development of football in Mongolia. Even if this change does not prove to be quite so monumental, it surely signifies a new era of the league, hopefully for the better.

Image property of the Mongolian Premier League

Some of the individuals responsible for the league restructuring



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