Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Lion City Sailors Usher In New Money Era
The 2020 Singapore Professional League kicks off this weekend with two big names missing. It had been announced last year Warriors would be taking time out from football citing money concerns. It's always a shame when any team goes to the wall, especially one which has been as successful as Warriors have been over the years especially when they were known as SAFFC.
More recently has come the news of another famous name missing as Home United announced they had been taken over by a private company and would be henceforth known as Lion City Sailors.
In a league, this being Singapore perhaps we should say ecosystem, lacking in any real history or heritage it is shame one of the most successful clubs in the professional era should be so glibly pushed aside. Two time SLeague champions, six time Singapore Cup winners, AFC Cup semi finalists, the authorities may be trying to dress this up as just a name change but let's be clear. Lion City Sailors have replaced Home United in the record books and Home's identity has been erased. There is a new crest, with an anchor, new club colours and a new nickname.
Home United were identified as being the football club representing the civil defense forces in Singapore, the police, the fire brigade and even the immigration department. Their nickname the Protectors was part of that identity. All that has gone.
Now I'm the first to say that new money and new thinking has long been needed to revitalise a moribund football scene but is the erasure of a proud name the way to go? As a football romantic I don't think so.
Then again maybe Singapore should let go of its past. Judging by the muted reaction to the news there won't be much in the way of protest over the loss of the name. Perhaps it is time for new thinking to join new money to develop a new future for the domestic game to try and entice the local football back to the grounds they deserted so many years ago.