Just what is wrong with Singapore football?

by Michael Ang

Something must be very wrong with the organisers of the Singapore Premier League. Otherwise, why would they undergo a rebranding exercise of the football league and yet achieve the same result: lack of interest and fans as evident at Bedok and Jurong East Stadiums, which hosted the Geylang vs Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata vs Balestier Khalsa matches on Sunday (27 May 2018)?

At a time when other leagues in the region, including India and Myanmar, already display digital advertising boards, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) continues to “plaster” plastic advertising boards around the stadiums – scenes reminiscent of the 1980s! What makes it even more repugnant is that most of these boards carry the names of its own brands such as Singapore Premier League, Sport Singapore and ACTIVESG (a subsidiary of Sport Singapore). Where are the likes of commercial brands such as SIA, SingTel, Sembcorp and so on?

For long, it is a well-known fact that each S League match was attended by at most 300 – 500 fans. But the photos taken from the live webcast of today’s matches clearly indicate much lesser a number.

What is wrong with Singapore football? No pun intended but the answer is a no-brainer: The organisers clearly cannot think. Otherwise, why spend tens of thousands of dollars on rebranding the league when no effort is put in to raise the attendance numbers? I mean, the actual numbers and not the inflated ones we have been told all these years.

The day someone blessed with a brain walks into the FAS is the day our football will start to improve. The million dollar question is: When will that happen?