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"Do you think you'll do any good to the league?"

Not that long ago, I came across one post from an online forum.

The posting on the online forum detailed a fan's frustration over the state of the game in this country, with one of her grouses targetted the presence of the feeder squads of both Albirex Niigata and Beijing Guoan, which she felt had deprived some local talents of playing at the top level.

Beijing Guoan Talents - one of many "one-season wonders"

She argued that players from both teams are merely using S.League as a "training ground" and added if "If FAS thinks Beijing Guoan (pictured above) can attract a packed house every week, they must be dreaming." following the major reshuffling of players in the Chinese-based squad during the transfer window.

Albirex Niigata (Singapore) players

"Feeder teams are bad news, as demonstrated by Albirex (pictured below). When a player performs well, he will be recalled to the parent team and they will send a lousy player to replace (him). This means that we will never have good players in those feeder squads." she added.

Seemly agreed with that argument is a member of this blog's Facebook group in his inputs in one of the discussions that he claimed the lack of competitiveness from these feeder squads devaluing the league in the process.

"Not being competitive is just pulling the league's standard down and they are not adding anything unlike Etoile, they're just here to give their youths a run-out."

On the same notion, he added while the inclusion of the Young Lions is meant to give them much-needed exposure by pitting against more senior teams in the S.League, but that's for the development of local football.

"I don't think we should be affording the same privilege to a foreign team when there's no gains for the league"

The inclusion of foreigner-based teams has always been a thorny issue in the league, which fans and the league authority never seem eye-to-eye.

Despite the less-than-convincing showing of those Chinese-based clubs since admitting Sinchi FC back in 2005, the league authority stuck to its gun by roped in the likes of Liaoning Guangyuan and Dalian Shide Siwu after the exit of the Chillins in 2007.

Lianhe Zaobao reported the match-fixing scandal

The mistrust of the Chinese clubs among local football supporters deepen when it was revealed that former team manager of Liaoning, Wang Xin, was allegedly masterminded in "that thing", which resulted in several ex-players of the disgraced club being convicted (pictured above when Lianhe Zaobao broke the news on January 2008).

This was probably why a great animosity was generated when Beijing Guoan Talents was named as the 12th team of the league in the eleventh hour, much to the dismay of the fans who were clamouring for the inclusion of Yishun Super Reds.

In its "stereotypical" reply in wake of the mass objection to the unpopular move, the league authority assured the fans that the inclusion of the two new foreign teams was done and concluded after a long exhausting, careful consideration and will help to "enhance the standard of play" in the league.

Fair enough, Etoile captured the League Cup and presently sitting at the top end of the League, however, the key would be now how convincing are both Albirex and Beijing going to follow suit.

As mentioned earlier, because the priority is to serve as a "nursery" for their parent clubs back in their countries, thus it's very unlikely to see their best players in our league (although, guys like Kenji Arai, Taisuke Akiyoshi, Shi Jiayi were discovered from the route).

Beijing GT's coach Zheng Xiaotian

Therefore, in his first post-match media briefing after their debut against Etoile, Beijing's coach Zheng Xiaotian was asked straight-in-the-face by a journalist, “Do you think you'll do any good to the league?”

Apparently, this question caught everyone by surprise and it took quite a while before it was translated to the Chinese coach.

“Don't compare my team with others...” replied calmly coach Zheng then (if I remember correctly) as he does not wish to see his team associated with those who failed.

However, this question kept looming over everyone's head and we are still looking for that definite answer to that question.


  1. Not here to stir the hornet's nest, but as how mentioned in the entry a quote from someone who mentioned here - the apparent lack of competitive edge from the concerned.

    Honestly, I find it bemused that Beijing coach blamed the "traumatic" airport experience as the reason behind their defeat to Tampines, even though they defeated Geylang Utd days before they met the Stags.

    The admin side of the club was put on the spotlight when the players' S-Pass issue were not settle prior to their return, such a blooper is absolutely unacceptable if they call yourself professional club.

  2. Totally agree with this.

    The only ones who can benefit from their presence is the two clubs themselves. they've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. having non-competitive sides affects the league's overall ...competitiveness and worse the league's reputation as well. And of course if we're having two placeholders in the form of foreign feeder clubs, we are also depriving the chance to add on to the local talent pool with local teams, even if they are crap. I mean we have two or three local clubs who looked dire for most of the season, BUT at least you can see they know they have to improve. The results and their standings affects them. I never saw that with the two feeder teams. With the feeder teams their priority seems to be to give a run out to their youth players, with no emphasis on results or any other particular goal. There's no better prove than watching albirex and beijing play each other. It's just god awful, and I had the misfortune of covering both matches so far.

    Not too long ago benitez suggested reserve BPL sides should play in the Football Leagues as it would boost both the League's profile and help in the reserve players' development. Naturally all of the Football League was against the idea. Why? Because they had pride. Good for them.

  3. Some responds gathered from "KallangRoar", after I "advertise" the entry that...

    "casillas" said
    "They should stay in Singapore next season and for many years to come. But play them in the Prime League."

    And was retorted by "giggsrox"
    "Then for what FAS spend so much money to get them here?

    If we're going to bring a bunch of foreigners here just to play the entire bunch in a lower division, it's a waste of resources. If the foreigners brought themselves here that's a different matter lah, but they didn't."

    Which "casillas" candidly replied
    "No, its not a waste of resources. We'll take the good players and make them Singaporean. We must make our government proud."

    All these in this link there -

  4. I totally agree with the what she had said. As we can see Albirex are disappointing, we can see from the way they progress lately. i think its time to kick them out together with Beijing. Club like Etoile and Super Reds(Korea) do provide some Competitiveness to the local side even DPMM which are make up of foreign & Brunei NT players are better than these lots of feeders squad.

  5. To be honest, I am neutral on this as the feeder sides r still more competitive than the sides some r calling to be brought back.

    In addition, they do nt drain resources like those clubs or else Super Reds chairman will nt be so eager to change to become a local team.

    He admit it is easier to run a club with those resources.

    Due to our tight situation on resources like $, we cannot say we do nt mind if those clubs we want back r nt self-sufficient as ultimately, it will be unsustainable.

    Even FFA, who arnd 3 years, claimed their finances were the best in their history & ready to challenge J1 r stretched now as up to 5 clubs drained $ from them.

    If the feeders sides go, it may nt really be for the better.

    That why I am neutral as I can see they do provide local sides more competition than some of us our own

  6. The very day you blogged bad things about these group of Tiongs, they got angry and bash up our Young Lions that very night. Must be all your fault lah Pohui hahaha!

  7. Well Vince,

    Purely coincident.

    As mentioned on the blog FB page, this entry was "kept in drawer" before decided to load it up.

    As I was not at the game, I felt I shall not comment further, and sad that such incident happened.

  8. This is totally a dumb idea to have foreign teams playing in the S League. In where in the world do you see domestic league INVITING foreign teams to their league? (The case of Wales team participate in English League system is another story).

    At first FAS said that the reason of bring foreign teams is to improve the league standard and bring in excitement but instead the league goes into a decline and apart from SAFFC getting qualified into the Asian Champions League there aren't much achievement for local league football scene in recent years.

    Also, look at the foreign teams they brought in, especially those Chinese teams who likes to bring a squad make up almost entirely of players who aren't make it in their country league and unexperienced as well as they players are almost entirely make up of players under the age of 21. Not forgetting those controversal incidents they creates like match fixing, fighting etc and they aren't some title contenders either. This proves that FAS will not learnt their lesson and still having false hopes on China feeder teams.

    Now look at Albirex Niigata, at first they did bring in better players who have at least played for their parent team but now? It is make up of J League reject players who can't even get a single league match in a season or those who can't even make it into weaker J2 league clubs like Giravanz Kitakyushu, Kataller Toyama etc! And currently none of their players have played for their parent club before!

    It's time for S League to kick out all the foreign clubs, be it Albirex Niigata S, Etoile or Beijing Guoan, reduce the league in 10 teams - all local!

  9. FAS think that by bringing in the foreign teams, these guys can fill up the number of teams, they cost less to subsidize. If some of their players are good, we can naturalize them to play for Singapore like Shi Jiayi and Qiu Li. If the team is no good, we can kick them out of the league by not extending invitation to them the following season, with little repercussion.

    What FAS did not realize is that these foreigners are no fools. Who will in their right mind to come and play here when their own backyard can offer them higher football standards, profile and perhaps more money? Maybe initially, there are indeed some real unpolished raw talents (e.g. Shi and Qiu), and we have benefited from it. Such “naturalization” strategy requires a lot of time factor. However after Qiu Li, the Chinese have wised up and quickly devise counter measures to deny us the time. Nowadays when any youngster starts to create any impression here, they will be shipped them back quickly to prevent the process of them being “naturalized”. Same also goes to Albirex who in their maiden season, brought along some good players, but they were quickly being snatched away by fellow S League teams, regional teams and even European teams. Hence subsequently they only send their youth players here and anyone who impressed will be recalled back to Japan immediately.

    I also disagree with the chap “Happy” that foreign teams do not drain resources. FAS also do give subsidy to these foreign teams, albeit a much lower sum than a local team. But a lower sum is still money and it is stupid to spend money on foreigners when locals are being conveniently neglected. Besides that, the stadium offered as home ground, the referee/match officials provided during games, all count as resources given to these foreign clubs. At a time when good quality stadiums are lacking in Singapore, FAS chose to offer the cosy modern Jurong East Stadium, Yishun Stadium and the historically rich Queenstown Stadium to all these foreign teams. Meanwhile other local teams continue to struggle in their ageing stadiums in Toa Payoh, Bedok, Hougang etc.

    The idea of having foreign clubs in Singapore is just a short term quick fix measure put in by the FAS to cure a long term problem. It smacks of naivety, ignorance, a lack of foresight and confidence on local talents and an eagerness to see instant result on the part of the local football bureaucrat than to put in long term investment to nurture local clubs. In fact the day when they allow a satellite team from Japan to play here, FAS has already sold out the S League brand name and condemned it to the lower rungs of Asian football hierarchy.


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