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."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hope it's not another "Toilet Washing" ...

"It is just like washing toilets. Different contractors / cleaners at different times." remarked a friend bluntly in a text exchange when I mentioned to him that the S.League is due for another review, as reported in TODAY.

Washing Toilet again? (credit:dipart.com)
In the same report by the Mediacorp publication, it also speculated the position of the S.League CEO, vacated by Lim Chin at the end of March, could be gone as well as part of the reviewing process to streamline the country's only professional sporting competition under the competition structure of Football Association of Singapore (FAS) since the new council took office weeks ago.

Ironically, it was at the introductory press conference which unveiled Lim and his erstwhile deputy Johan Gouttefangeas on January 2012 (), the local fraternity was presented the "S.League Version 2.0" - an initiative to revive the sick man on the bed that met with limited success to be proud of.

WEIRD FORMATS ...
One of those weird ideas included the complicating format of split up the league into two, based on standings, after completion of two rounds of fixtures with the third round saw top six teams featured against one and another to decide who win the league title with the bottom six fought it out meaninglessly to compete their campaign.

The above-mentioned format was scrapped after the two seasons in 2013 and 2014 with the return to the three-round format since 2015.

Prior to all those Ideas, the conventional two-rounded format was in place in season 2012 with a former FAS president chuckled "unless it snows" there would be no change in the league fixtures which is infamous for its late release and frequent amendment of schedules that has always been a bugbear to many clubs.

RIDING ON FALSE HOPES ...
Unfortunately, the launch of the S.League Version 2.0 awkwardly coincided with LionsXII's debut in the Malaysia Super League in the same year.

"Tumpang"
Under such circumstances, it was impossible to wholeheartedly concentrate on the task to revive the S.League even when Lim, himself, was pinning his hopes by riding on the projected success of the 2013 Malaysian league champions when he was once quoted saying "It is hoped given time more fans who have attended LionsXII matches at Jalan Besar will continue to go to the S-League stadium" in an interview months after he took office (25/5/12 - TODAY).

Other notable gimmick during the former SAFFC chairman's tenure to uplift the spirit included the futile attempt by having the S.League Superbabes performing at matches.

Regrettably, the former military man insisted it was a good 2016 for the S.League, despite those writings on the wall which suggested otherwise before he decided to quit the post in January.

BE BOLD AND DARING ...
At this juncture, what we were told is the beleaguered league is due for another review headed by two heavyweights in the scene - former Tampines Rovers’ chairman Teo Hock Seng and Balestier Khalsa's chairman S Thavaneson.

Having seen it all throughout these years, it is important for both these FAS vice-presidents not to come up with ideas, proposals merely to improvise what were proposed in failed grandiose plans like "GOAL 2010", "Strategic Plan", etc.

Not to improvise from this but learn those mistakes made
Now is the best opportunity to make a bold step to get rid of those old stuck-in-the-mud practices and show the determination the new regime are serious to revamp the S.League like they did to the amateur National Football League this season (sort of).

PRIVATIZATION IN PLACE NOW!
Both Teo and Thavaneson are known in the scene as benefactoring figures when the former was still the chairman of Tampines Rovers and the latter, in spite being a long-time chairman of Balestier Khalsa, is always there to give a helping hand like he provided attire sponsorships to several S.League clubs when financial crisis hit the fledging league that resulted a number of sides without kit providers in the late 1990s.

FAS vice-president Teo Hock Seng (file snap)
It is now hope that the proposed privatization of the S.League will eventually see the foundation in place during the reviewing process tapping on Messrs. Teo and Thavaneson's business acumen and gradually shunt away from the "godfather" way of running the clubs.

In addition to the recent media reports on Tampines Rovers' financial woes, I would suggest to look into fine-tuning the "National Club Licensing System" - a little-known licensing scheme which outlined governance criteria for every local S.League club in order to be accredited under the "AFC Club Licensing Regulations" to play in tournaments organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

LOOK INTO THE PLAY-OFF ...
Since the day when S.League was inaugurated in 1996, talks to implement the template "promotion/relegation" system between the professional tier and its amateur cousins is never far from sight with proponents insisted this is a proven method to keep every team on toes and the injection of excitement to the competition.

But like what I pointed out in a blog post I did in 2009, I still have my reservation on using this as a form of "injection".

One option to look into - "Play-Off"
I wrote "Let's face the fact that it's absolutely impossible to implement the "promotion/relegation" format in the league setup, given the unfavourable climate local football is facing now and the lack of sizable fan population,".

Almost eight years had passed, I doubt my opinion had altered a bit but if the "promotion/relegation" is the way to be to improve the competitiveness of the leagues, I do hope the structure of the league pyramid will be sounded and sturdy to ensure things are running smoothly.

If not, it is just a repetitive to getting someone else to maintain the toilet when the previous contractors did a lousy job.

2 comments:

  1. Using HK league as a reference, a friend remarked there were cases clubs earned promotion to play in the SAR top flight but declined due to financial reasons. They were also cases whereas club in HKPL "voluntary relegate" to the Division One (second tier) to stay afloat.

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  2. I think we first should have a stable structure (top to bottom)... then we talk about promotion and relegation. But in the past few years, the powers-that-be were only focused on the 20 or so top players, such that when they finally look down and look around, everything else are in tatters, disrepair and neglect.

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