What's the 'big idea' to rejuvenate S-League

In 1996, the S-League started with a bang.

Impressive crowds turned out regularly to watch the games. Back then, Singapore held world-class sports events but these never posed a threat to interest in football.

So Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin's concern that the S-League could be overshadowed by world-class events slated to be held at the Sports Hub is misplaced ("S-League wary of Sports Hub's pull"; last Tuesday).

The S-League's decline has been going on for years. Its survival apparently depends on the FAS' "ongoing search for sponsors" year after year.

Quick fixes like the star-player scheme have not produced tangible results.

The ubiquity of world-class football broadcasts poses the biggest challenge. I applaud the FAS and S-League for defying the naysayers over the years, but there comes a time when one needs to ask if the S-League enterprise needs to change course.

S-League chief Lim Chin hopes this year's league attendance will surpass last year's average of 1,200.

Providing free finger food and introducing a smartphone app are gimmicks. Where is the "big idea"?

Wong Kah Khoon

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