Set up local versions of big foreign football teams

Unlike most countries, where there are different states and a certain pride attached to being from that state, Singapore is just one big city and Singaporeans are not loyal to a specific area of the country.

So, there is no sense of rivalry or excitement for the public when the S-League team of that area plays.

The popularity of schools' competition stems from the pride at stake for the participants.

In the early years of Singapore, the Government sought multinational corporations to set up base here to transfer expertise and knowledge.

I propose a radical idea for the S-League in a similar vein.

There is strong support for English, Spanish, Italian and German league teams here in Singapore.

Perhaps we can get nine of those teams to lend us their names and support so we can set up a "Singapore edition" of their team, for instance, Liverpool Singapore FC or Manchester United Singapore FC.

People who support, say, Liverpool, may be keen to play in Liverpool Singapore FC or align themselves with the team.

Over time, we will start seeing better crowds.

More crucially, we may be able to work on coaching clinics by drawing on the main team's expertise. Maybe one or two guest players could even come to Singapore and transfer their knowledge in terms of training, strategies and so on.

The aim is to improve Singapore football and get the crowd support back. We have to think out of the box to achieve this goal.

Thomas Richard Prakasam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2017, with the headline 'Set up local versions of big foreign football teams'. Print Edition | Subscribe