For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why we have to go through this again?

The league authority would have a lot to answer and convince the large number of dwindling local football supporters over the decision to admit another foreign club into the foray.

“Having foreign teams in the league would add colours and help to boast the standard of play in the league.” as what the league authority used to rationale the largely unpopular move, especially among those remnant fans of those “sit-out” clubs like Tanjong Pagar United, Jurong FC and Sembawang Rangers.

So when TODAY reported that CSL side Beijing Guoan was named as a potential team to be part of the set-up (as depicted in the screenshot above), the less-than-desirable reaction from those folks out there was more or less came no surprise to me.

To back their claim, stats and figures had clearly very clearly that teams from China had yet to prove their worth despite number of promises made at each pre-season media introduction.

Dalian Shide Siwu FC used to based in Queenstown Stadium

Other than Sinchi FC, which lasted from 2003-2005 despite never being a hit with the local set-up, their follow-up teams such as Liaoning Guangyuan and Dalian Shide Siwu only played in the league for ONE season before faded away (Liaoning shown the door after completed the 2007 season, while Dalian were not invited back after 2008 season).


Given such a short lifespan playing in the S.League, one can't help but wondering why these teams were admitted in the first place despite the number of stringent criteria needed to be fulfilled?
  • Is there a flaw in the selection set-up?

  • Is the time-frame given to assess these potential teams too short?
But one thing that's for sure is the inability to confirm the teams to be featured in the next season soon, will once again have everybody wait till the last minute for the fixtures, which one cannot guarantee NO CHANGE will be made (as it always happens).

19 comments:

  1. I do support Beijing to come to S-league, to be honest, as it is an up-and-coming CSL side with funds and supports

    Only Shanghai Shenhua can match up

    The other CSL sides before that nvr had that level of $

    The other foreign sides mentioned by TODAY cnnt be considered as they clearly lacked a big-time backer behind them

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  2. i dont understand with the way fas think to have foreign clubs to play in the domestic league is a waste of time given the reason to develop the standard of the league, the foreign clubs do not have connection with the local fans so that makes the didn't have the feeling that they own the club so that is why they won't bother to fill the stadium everytime they play this understandable you guys in singapore always complaining about how empty the

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  3. stadium is..sense of belonging thats what the fans dont have when you have foreign clubs..so how a club could have gate receipt?the i see it i have been read that s league have several defunct clubs why not make it alive again and without automatic promotion and relegation in the league is not going to improve things, you have prime league why not making it as the second tier league that will makes the league more interesting..

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  4. Hi there just wish to add on that foreign teams are only allowed players from their country and in this case all the players will come from China. According to past experiences players frfom Sinchi and Dalian did not produce awesome players with the exception of Shi Jiayi previously from Sinchi who is playing at Home United now and maybe Qiu Li. One can expect the inferiority in quality than the zest in playing for these teams because their issue is the players from you know lah tend to do stupid things that end up in the wrong side of football. So I am sceptical about one more China club coming in although they are up and coming it might be only be a youth setup just like Albirex.

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  5. however unpopular the decision is, i believe that the foreign teams are beneficial to the s-league. Forget about the "boosting standard of play" crap or "producing future national team FTs" nonsense. Its about expanding the s-league market. Remember, only 65% of singapore residents are full born and bred singaporeans. Would the rest of the 35% care about woodlands wellington or tampines rovers? We all know that there are a lot of Chinese PRs here- they outnumbered us during the National Day challenge. With a good squad, marketing and professionalism, chinese teams can draw at least 3 or 4k crowds every week. After DPMM came in the s-league brand and its sponsors gained exposure to the brunei market. That's 400,000 more ppl. The bigger market will attract more sponsors. I really hope DPMM comes back and maybe invite harimau muda from malaysia to compete in our league to expand our market to malaysia.

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  6. And besides, how big is our talent pool anyway? Would bringing back Sembawang, tanjong pagar or jurong really be good for the league? Remember the last time a brand new local team came and compete? Paya Lebar Punggol- 27 Played, 1 won, 1 drawn and 25 loses. Where would a new local team get their players from? NFL ? Prime league? Street Soccer courts? Not good enough. Even now clubs like sengkang, balestier and woodlands are having trouble to have a decent squad to compete with the rest of the league.

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  7. Apart from having foreign team coming to play in our league we should also consider sending our players abroad to play in their league like an exchange program. We help them develop their second team players here and they help us develop our players. Sounds fair to me.

    In a way our local players will be raring to fight for a place to play abroad for their development.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. @Anonymous(25 Nov 20:15): It is true that it could be a youth setup, as Albirex is doing, but you cannot deny that this past season, no matter how young their players may have been, Albirex have given a good account of themselves. Same goes for the Super Reds, and while they lasted, DPMM.

    I think another foreign club, considered purely in terms of contribution to exciting football, is always worth considering. True, they may turn out to be flops, but you never know until you try.

    @paeedee: True, there is no sense of belonging if you just dump a foreign club into a league. But what happens if the club stays long enough to build an identity for itself with the local fans? Super Reds is one team I would hate to see leaving the S.League, personally, and Albirex aren't far behind. Time and devotion are what's needed to build a sense of belonging.

    @Anonymous (25 Nov 20:58-21:15): I have reason to believe you're the same person ... why not use a better name so we can respond to your comments? ;) Anyway, as far as expanding the market is concerned, it might be prudent to call in another foreign club as well, though I seriously doubt too many of the 400,000 in Brunei became interested in the S.League for more than a brief period of time. Now that DPMM are forced to sit out one season, who knows what will happen to our image in Brunei?

    Also, good squad, good marketing and professionalism are easier said than done. Even if all of those are 'achieved', how does it lead to crowds averaging 3-4K a week? (Remember that the fixture list is usually staggered so that a stadium might be used less than once a week..) That's a nice number to look at, but it's very far from what we have now.

    As for Chinese PRs outnumbering us during the National Day Challenge, I would suggest it's more due to Singaporean apathy than actual numbers of Chinese PRs being higher ;)

    I would also say that our talent pool is large enough for several clubs to be formed, but there isn't enough incentive for players to remain in that talent pool instead of getting jobs that can pay more, for instance, pizza delivery. We need to make sports more attractive.

    @Yus: Sounds good, I like the idea of an exchange program, maybe the foreign clubs playing in the S.League can be allowed to sign our locals as 'foreign players' with the corresponding raised salary caps instead ;)

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  10. Hi icedwater, thanks for your comment. 400,000 is the population of brunei; probably less than 1/4 of that amt are interested in DPMM and their progress. I'm just trying to highlight the increased market. I think ppl in Brunei know that the sit-out is due to their football association and not our s-league. We did our best to appeal to fifa but to no avail. As for the Chinese PRs, I'm just saying that they have a lot of football fans here (more than japanese and korean), so there is potential for a chinese team to be successful here. The CSL teams know it and winston lee knows it- That's why you see a lot of CSL team applying to be in our league and our sleague management keep inviting them. Just that the teams come here with very poor professionalism. Then again, CSL has never been professional,ever,right? As for the local talent pool, yes it has potential to be big enough for more local clubs but currently, it doesn't. I'm just against the idea of increasing local teams for the sake of expanding the league or a relegation system for a two-tier league. I believe the death of sembawang, jurong, paya lebar, tanjong pagar, clementi is due to overexpansion. Our league is only strong enough to hold max 6-8 local teams. Right now our league is not ready for a new local team, not even Yishun Reds FC. Overexpansion is a big problem, just look at our favourite Malaysian League, tried to be clever introducing club teams to compete against state teams now see where they are. Many club and state teams have to be dissolved/ merged this decade alone. Kuala Muda Naza just backed out because they are attracting 400 fans per game. Even the j-league had overexpansion probs circa 94-98 which led to the death of yokohama flugels. U don't need relegation system to make the teams compete all season long, just create a playoff system like the the highly successful US sports leagues. Sorry if i sound offensive, no harm intended. Just love my football, be it english, asian or local. haha.

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  11. There are a number of problems with the S-league, that have not been fixed over the past few years. The future of the League is the most important. What does the FAS intend to do about the future of the S-League? The AFC recognises the S-League in its top 10, but the AFC also requires that a League has promotion and relegation for it to gain proper recognition in the AFC Champions League. I believe that if the FAS has any serious thoughts about improving the League, then expansion is a must. The previous poster stated that expansion was the death of a number of clubs, but I counter to ask if the League actually got better with mergers, consolidation and new players being found? The FAS really needs to have some sort of plan, not only to assist these new clubs, but also for how they want to future to be. The S-League has a chance to take over Sth East Asia in football terms, before any of the other Leagues, and that includes sponsorship which leads to higher salaries and better players. But, as I keep saying, they need a strong forward plan. This plan has to involve marketing. The plan has to involve a revamp of the way teams are selected each season and has to have the draw out much earlier than it does. It has to organise games around special events so that it can use the events to "drag" in potential customers. Yet, most of all, it has to provide a product that is watchable. And for this last request, that includes more players, better teams and especially better officiating. At present the FAS seems to be just turning the handle each year and running an event that they do not find too much interest in. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to have a separate body running the S-League, as they do in Europe and the UK. As to the clubs coming in, Albirex and Super Reds are two of the teams that actually do play quality football. I have seen Beijing Guoan play, and I mean the youth players, and I can tell you they would provide surprisingly good competition for the likes of the top S-League clubs. I would definitely look forward to seeing Guoan play in Singapore, and marketed right, you may get more than the 6-800 that normally turn up to a S-league game.

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  12. @Anonymous(all): Seriously, all you guys should sign in and stand up for what you say ... makes it easier for discussion also :P

    @Anonymous(25 Nov 23:52): Well, we can do no more about the Brunei situation. Let's move on from there. China's CSL? I haven't watched enough of it, but I cannot agree that they have "never been professional" ... all the same, maybe there will be an exception?

    I love my football too, and I want to see Singapore football as popular as during the Malaysia Cup days. We do have the passion for football, it's just being satisfied by other sources. That's a reality that's not going to be changed for a while, thanks to Singtel Mio, Starhub Cable and various streaming sites.

    The current local talent pool, I would say, has enough for decent competition and can well afford two tiers of football - pump more money into the NFL and make it a more viable career option, even if it's a part time job. Relegation and promotion will be confined to the same few teams see-sawing in the first few seasons, but having more teams means at least more competition to finish away from, say, the bottom two :)

    @Anonymous (26 Nov 05:37): See above for my thoughts on expansion... I don't think it is a must, but I do think it is an idea worth trying out.

    I don't know if privatisation is such a good idea, though, but I think it might just help things on a bit. Maybe this might sound self-contradictory, but I don't want football superstar salaries to ever make their way here. It just has to be more attractive to make a living playing football, not absurdly high.

    I want to see more than 600-800 turning up to an S.League game on average, no matter what team is playing. We're almost there, but how many of those are fans instead of gamblers hoping they get a quick buck at the end of the night?

    The pitiful collection of cheerleaders for each team can't be expected to provide all the atmosphere in the stadium. It is utterly Singaporean, and not something to be proud of in my book. I'm not asking for well-choreographed songs everyone knows and passes down to their kids, not just yet, but there could be a little more than silence or hurled verbal abuse at the stadiums.

    Seriously, if people can watch enough European football to learn the chants and songs (yes, you, Arsenal Fan Club among others) what's so hard about coming up with some for the local sides and passing them around?

    There's just not enough interest ... and for those expecting local football to go back to the passion of the M-Cup but are not attending the matches and providing any of that passion, nor giving the players more than financial reasons to do their best, well ... give yourself a pat on the back, renew your pay TV subscription and lock yourself at home. Don't talk about the S.League and whine and complain.

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  13. I would just like to make my 2 cents worth.

    1) China teams had been making the headlines in Singapore for reasons other than football - and most of it had to be linked to corruption. It was because of their inclusion (particularly Liaoning Guangyuan) that caused Singapore's rating with AFC to fall - and thus having to negotiate 2 rounds of playoff before able to play in the Asian CL.

    The question is: We had already given 2 chances to Chinese teams - 3 if you count Sinchi FC - and yet they are always linked to problems off the pitch. I can still vividly recall how Dalian Shide's players were so full of arrogance when they were at the stadium - and we do not need such crap football to be on showcase in Singapore.

    2) Improving standards when the teams from China had never finished in the top 6 speaks volume of their commitment. Try going to Singapore Pools outlets when a game involving a Chinese team is playing and sometimes, you can identify a few fringe players making bets. It did not came as a surprise to me when Dong Lei was amongst one of the players being charged for corruption as I saw him at the Queenstown Singapore Pools outlet 3 hours before the game!

    If the FAS want to improve the standards, it is not inviting teams that cannot even challenge top accolades into the League, but rather, get teams that would make our SAF and Tampines and Gombak sweat.

    If FAS personnel and the organization is still so critical about negative comments made to them and takes more effort in finding out who commented on them than to improve themselves, chances are that very soon, we would be finding ourselves in the ranking closer to Cambodia than Thailand!

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  14. J league started in 1993,now the national team is the top 50 in the world and its not even their national sport .lol..(qualify for every world cup since 1998)

    S league started in 1996,now the national team standing??(with the big fat dream of 2010).

    Also don't blame the fans for not supportin the league.Year in year out same old recycle players locals and foreigners alike hopping from one team to another. National players also perform like ordinary with no motivation..foreign players are over the hill players who are here to mix leisure(targetin Sarong Party girls) with football before they retire(only can fool FAS but not the fans lol..)

    Sigggggggggghhhhhhhhhh....

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  15. @rubbie:i totally agree with you, foreign clubs in s league is not going to change anything, especially with the fans, because who want to support a team you do not have any relations with? that is absurd...thats explain why Sleague matches are empty house...especially when the team players is arrogance because they think they are the better side, but actually no one would ever consider that right?
    @icedwater:thats what i am talking about because sense of belonging is the most important thing on football, but when you think that you wouldn't want to see foreigners as albirex or supereds go that is understandable but you might want to consider this, what if you have one of your family members or your neighbour that play for your local team would it be more excited for you to support your team right?and about sleague that donot have auto pro-releg system is not going to change the development of the league itself...because promo-releg system is some kind of quality control in industries...it is ok if you are not winning the league but nobody wants to see their team relegated at the end of the season right? winning the league is another story but when it comes to relegations it's alot painful than not winning the league....

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  16. @paeedee (26 Nov 2009, 21:26)Ö Definitely ... I would much rather see my friend or family member play in a local team. But as it stands, I would much rather have the current crop of foreign teams stay.

    We'll see how it goes with Yishun Reds next season.

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  17. Hello friend, I looked at your blog and is very interesante.Saludos and welcome for your visit.

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  18. Hi Guys...

    Thanks for comments and discussions.. Dec15 will be the day we shall know who will be the clubs be admitted.

    Having seen the "musical chair" game playing for the past 2-3years or so.. I guess like most fans, supporters what we want to see is "stability" in the composition of the league.

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  19. Is S League still the DOMESTIC league of Singapore with foreign teams' presences? Why not FAS spend the effort on how to revive clubs like Sembawang Rangers, Jurong FC and Tanjong Pagar United back rather than thinking of which foreign clubs to invite into our 'domestic' league?

    It's time to kick out all the foreign teams in S League and get back to the good old times whereby S League is made up of entirely local teams!

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