Thursday, October 18, 2012


Finish Bottom And We Fine You!

SINGAPORE - While local football is still some distance away from establishing a promotion-relegation system, the 17-year-old Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League is set to give its poorly performing teams something to fight to avoid - a five-figure penalty. 

The team that finishes last in the 13-team league next season will face a S$50,000 penalty, while the 12th-placed side will be S$30,000 poorer.

S-League Chief Executive Lim Chin told TODAY: "'Competitive' and 'interesting' were the two key words for us in deciding on the initiatives for the league next year and, while the S-League is not ready for a promotion-relegation system, we want every team to give their best.

"We hope these - stiff penalties, not just a slap on the wrist - will inspire clubs to do well." 

Without the spectre of relegation over their heads in the past, some S-League sides have faced criticism for a lack of ambition and doing the bare minimum required of a football club. But with several changes - and more money - mooted for S-League 2013, Mr Lim is hoping for a drastic change. 

"We're adopting a carrot-and-stick approach to the league next year, making it more lucrative for top teams looking to win, and installing a disincentive for the smaller clubs to finish in the bottom two spots in the table," he said. 

To date, Hougang United - known as Sengkang Punggol from 2006 till 2010 - has the ignominy of finishing in the league's bottom two in four of the last five seasons. In the same period, Woodlands Wellington and Balestier Khalsa have come in last or second-last twice each.

The S-League prize money next year will go up to S$250,000 from S$150,000 this year, with the top 11 clubs receiving a diminishing fraction of the top prize based on their league standings.

The football fraternity's reaction to this latest idea was mixed. Some called for a conventional relegation battle instead, while others saw the possibility of poorer sides going bankrupt.

"I think it's a good idea because this will give teams something to fight to avoid," said a club official who declined to be named. "We don't have relegation and, considering that it doesn't look likely that that will happen soon, this seems like a good alternative." 

But a football observer, who also declined to be named, said: "This might penalise small teams even further, increasing the gap between the rich and poor teams. Don't forget, there have been clubs in the past that have been forced out of the league because of financial problems."

In the absence of a sustainable second tier to the S-League that is needed for a relegation system to be installed, Mr Lim believes a calculated change such as this is "better for the league than just sticking to what we've had before".

"We think the quantum of the penalties is painful enough to force teams to make an effort to do well, while not big enough to force clubs to sit out the league," he added. "Having said that, we will allow clubs to make phased payments out of their subsidies in the following year."

COMMENT - bereft of ideas. Clueless about football. And what the bloody hell does 'quantum of penalties' mean? This 'strategic' plan is some piece of work eh? What do you mean you think they're making it up as they go along?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?