Create football league driven by cash incentives

As a competitive football platform, the 21-year-old S-League has failed to produce and nurture talented national players and attract fans.

Perhaps it is time to scrap it and revitalise the football scene by creating a league driven by cash incentives. This is how such a league would work:

A start could be made with 10 clubs in the first division as well as in the second and third divisions, within a promotion and relegation system.

Seed money should be given to the first-division clubs at inception.

Thereafter, in the following years, there would be seed money and prize money at stake, depending on where the club finishes.

Such a reward system would energise each club to compete at its best at every match for a higher league placing at the end of the season to earn bigger prize money for players and club.

For example, if the bottom club receives $100,000, the one just above it would get $200,000 and so on, with the top club winning $1 million.

If the bottom club receives $100,000, the one just above it would get $200,000 and so on, with the top club winning $1 million... The amount of prize money can be adjusted to the budget available but the "step ladder" incentive scheme must be maintained.

Total prize money for this division would then be $5.5 million, plus $8 million seed money made up of the current $800,000 given to each club, totalling $13.5 million.

The cost of this plan will be less than the current $16 million that Singapore Pools allocates to the S-League.

The amount of prize money can be adjusted to the budget available but the "step ladder" incentive scheme must be maintained.

The top three teams in the second and third divisions could also be given prize money as incentives.

It would be ideal if each club is named according to the area it represents, so that residents and supporters can identify with it. A home stadium within that area would also be a great advantage, as fans' would have easier access to matches.

George Pasqual

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'Create football league driven by cash incentives'. Print Edition | Subscribe