Tuesday, January 25, 2011
With the SLeague due to start in a couple of weeks fans in Singapore expecting great changes following a disappointing 2010 are likely to be disappointed. Tanjong Pagar have returned to replace Beijing Guan but that’s about it. Weekend games aren’t being scheduled because they clash with English premier League, talk about an insecurity complex emanating from FAS headquarters!
With a usual 12 team league, games spread across the week plus the Singapore Cup and the League Cup there will be plenty of football to keep us occupied in the city state. But for just 12 teams it’s a long old season, starting in February and only ending in November. Throw in internationals and the SEA Games in November and it’s gonna be a strain.
Time for me to return to one of my favourite bugbears. The 12 team league with each team playing each other three times is too cumbersome and too familiar. SAFFC and Home United maybe undertaking foreign tours ahead of the season but most teams will be playing friendlies against each other before the season kicks off. Throw in the possibility of Singapore Cup and League Cup clashes and these guys are gonna be heartily sick of each other.
With Tanjong Pagar returning to the SLeague it seems everypne has forgotten last years’ golden boys, the team that never was. Yishun Super Reds. Originally known as the Korean Super Reds the team had gone local and applied to join the 2010 SLeague. There was much gnashing of teeth and thumping of keyboards when their bid was rejected for that of Beijing Guoan.
If someone is willing to pump money into Yishun Super Reds then let them and let them enter the league. Expand the SLeague to a 14 team league and welcome back DPMM Brunei once the FIFA ban is lifted. Their short spell in 2009 was colourful and controversial. And every football competition needs a bit of that to keep the interest flowing.
With a 14 team playing just home and away that would reduce the number of league games for each team from 33 to 26 and free up some space so the Singapore Cup can be revamped and the league Cup consigned to the history books where it belongs. If you wanna blindly copy the English then sell beer at the stadiums and have clubs shops selling merchandise to them what wants it.
With 14 SLeague teams in the Singapore Cup they can be joined by four foreign teams and six National Football League teams. Instead of Balestier Khalsa playing Geylang United in friendlies, league and cup games have them mix it with the likes of SCC and Eunos Crescent. Give the smaller teams a chance to take on the big boys in a cup and we all know what a great leveler the Cup can be don’t we? Say it all the time in England they do.
That’s it. Another one of my Singapore rants over and done with. Gotta say though i’m really looking forward to this season there. Interesting signings at SAFFC, Home looking to add to last year’s progress and will Etoile suffer from the second year syndrome? Fascinating year ahead!
I fancy the idea of 14 clubs league but once again FAS would complain about logistic constraint again.
As of upping the reputation of NFL sides, aside from Eunos Crescent who publicly claimed about their plan of going pro, the rest are very passive about mentioning in the same length as their S League counterparts.
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