LionsXII can lend star power to S-League

It is sad that our LionsXII will be disbanded.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is to be commended for honouring the players' contracts, even though they will not be needed any more ("LionsXII players to join S-League"; last Saturday).

The S-League has been floundering, with or without the LionsXII in action.

Spectator interest and support have been weak.

It seems that the S-League needs a shot of adrenaline and a makeover to rejuvenate itself.

A possibility would be to commercialise it by allowing companies to adopt or own S-League clubs, which can serve as their business' marketing arm.

These companies may even have the resources to engage foreign marquee players near the twilight of their careers, to heighten interest and draw the crowds.

In the 1970s and 1980s, we had a Business Houses League, which was well supported and attracted great public interest.

Perhaps this approach is the best for a small country like ours, in our quest for a respectable ranking in international football.

Many of the players in the LionsXII are high-profile sportsmen and could help S-League teams attract spectator interest and more publicity.

Perhaps each team should have one or more of such members.

The confirmation from the FAS that LionsXII players will be drafted into the S-League is a good step forward. It is now up to the clubs to manage this opportunity.

George Pasqual

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2015, with the headline 'LionsXII can lend star power to S-League'. Print Edition | Subscribe