Forum: Sad to see 'Home United' name go

I read about the privatisation of Home United with mixed feelings (Uncharted waters for Sailors, Feb 14).

For the longest time, it has been obvious that our local football clubs' reliance on handouts from the Government to run their operations is not sustainable.

There are hardly any innovative ways for the clubs to generate revenue, and we seldom see any meaningful interaction with the community and their fans over social media or actual face-to-face activities to rally backing and support.

That would explain why, with each passing year, we have witnessed a steady decline in our football standards, which have invariably affected the quality of the national team.

Over the years, there have been various calls to privatise the league, getting corporations to come forward to each support a team, in a similar fashion to the J-league when it was revamped in the 1990s.

But the calls were not heeded.

Thus it was really refreshing to see Internet company Sea finally come forward to take over Home United and rename it Lion City Sailors.

I can only wish that more of such rich corporations will do so.

Having said that, I regret the demise of the Home United name.

It would have been so much better if, in taking over the team, Sea founder Forrest Li had kept the name but tweaked it to incorporate both names, for example, Home United Sailors FC or Home United Sea Sailors FC, to preserve the legacy, at the same time reflecting the new ownership.

Should other corporations follow in the footsteps of Sea and privatise other Singapore Premiere League clubs, we would surely not like to see household names like Geylang, Balestier or Hougang being wiped off.

Sebastian Tan

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