Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Chinese and French added to SLeague

The SLeague has finally decided on the final two teams when it was officially announced yesterday Etoile and Beijing Guo'an would replace Super Reds and DPMM.

Chinese teams don't have the best record in Singapore's top flight. In 2006 Sinchi left because of indiscipline on the field. 2007 saw Liaonang kicked out on match fixing while a year later Dalian Shide left after an anonymous season when they attracted miniscule crowds.

So another Chinese team. Can't say the prospect fills me with any great excitement while what is the point of the French team?

Personally I would have loved to have seen a Malaysian team join as well as keeping DPMM but the FIFA bullies stopped that particular one. So why not a rebranded Super Reds? Singapore football will be deprived of one of the best footballing teams in the country to accomodate these outsiders.

Singapore's football authorities love to trumpet the fact that they are one of Asia's top 10 top 10 leagues, a meaningless statement but one they bring forward at every opportunity. But the way things stand now they will have no chance of competing in further Champions League competition until the fan bases increase and until they introduce promotion and relegation.

Really never understood the need for foreign teams. Expat teams make more sense than affiliates. Believe a lot of the historic Argentine and Brazilian clubs started off as Expat teams - or at least clubs for certain ethnic groups.

So will the A-League also have to adopt pro/rel?
Pro/rel for A-League?
Yes - probably. Although lack of it doesn't seem to affect South Korea getting 4 ACL slots.

FFA has stated quite clearly that a second tier comp is a necessity - its just a matter of growing the game here to the point that it can be sustained, especially cost-wise. The implication - although not stated outright as far as I can recall - is that promotion/relegation will be a corollary to the intro of a 2nd tier.

To the best of my recollection, the AFC has said it intends reviewing the participation criteria and country rankings for ACL in 2012. So I guess that around then, we may see some activity from FFA re trying to meet the AFC requirements - I think Australia only fails now on the promotion/relegation issue, although there may be one or two others.
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