Courts to decide on Young Lions sponsorship

They are the only S-League football club who enjoy the support of a sponsorship that comes with naming rights but the Young Lions' partnership with household appliances and furniture retailer Courts for next year is still to be confirmed.

With Juergen Raab's team finishing their season after losing 1-2 to Home United last Sunday, a decision will be reached on whether to extend the partnership by the end of this year.

Courts Singapore chief executive officer Terry O'Connor told The Straits Times: "We'll need to sit down with the key stakeholders to understand the direction of Singapore football, in the Malaysian Super League (MSL), S-League and Asean Super League (ASL)."

Courts has been the team's main sponsor since 2011. The sponsorship amount is not disclosed.

Set to kick off next year, the ASL is a new tournament featuring regional clubs.

As such, the LionsXII, who currently play in the MSL, will play in the ASL, while the Courts Young Lions are expected to move up to compete in the Malaysian domestic league.

However, the Asean Football Federation, the sanctioning body for the ASL, has revealed little information about the league's composition and format.

O'Connor added: "We have to discuss with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) - where are we going, take a look at their road map, as well as to take a look at our marketing plans and budget too.

"This is the time of the year when we will plan and conduct our post-season review.

"For now, we can't say for certain yet. We will decide by December, before the start of the next season."

The FAS said in a statement: "We are in the final stages of our discussions with all relevant stakeholders. More information will be released later this month once we have confirmed all details."

Courts Young Lions, who are effectively Singapore's Under-23 side, currently lie in eighth spot in the 10-team standings

They have 27 points after finishing their S-League campaign.

But ninth-placed Geylang International, with 25 points, can leapfrog Raab's team with a win over last year's champions Warriors FC (fifth on 37 points) in their final match tonight.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2015, with the headline 'Courts to decide on Young Lions sponsorship'. Print Edition | Subscribe