Wednesday, December 26, 2012


FAS's Double Challenge

In case you have been partying on the dark side of the moon recently you will be aware that Singapore won the AFF Cup, defeating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate.

I don't think many people anticipated that one before the competition began but the Lions thoroughly deserved their triumph.

2012 has been a good year for Singapore football what with the daftly named LionsX11 performing well in the Malaysia set up, another exciting SLeague and of course the AFF Cup success.

As ever though the game is being woefuly under supported by officialdom. Fans do turn out for the LionsX11 games and of course the semi final and final hosted at the Jalan Besar Stadium were sell outs. Football fans love to be associated with success and that is just as true in Singapore.

But how can this success be translated into bums on seats at the SLeague. Yes, when the league started back in the 1990s there were crowds of 10,000 + but most games today you are lucky to get 1% of that buying tickets and the SLeague website stopped giving attendances which were padded out by complimentaries, media and other weird and wonderful attendees who didn't turn up.

In 2013 we have already seen Gombak United decide to take a season's sabbatical meaning the league will feature 12 teams. But will any of them feel any benefit from Singapore's AFF Cup success? Granted most of the team that paraded the trophy play for LionsX11 but there were still others, like Aleksander Duric, in the SLeague with champions Tampines Rovers.

The Football Association of Singapore have a challenging 12 months ahead. How to funnel new found interested in the game to the SLeague on match days as well as replacing Raddy Avramovic as coach of the national team.

What is needed on both counts is firm action. Not business school speak about key performing indicators and strategic plans but a marketing plan to get more fans through the gate and a list of candidates who can take Singapore to the next level internationally.

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