Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Time for certain games to be set in stone in S-league fixture list

As the 2013 season end, there are many things fans may hoped for the new season but the question is which one should be first in line.

For me, it is the S-league fixture list for it set the tone for the upcoming season and like how the S-league slots was once the sore thumb, the fixture list is now taking over it.

Do not tell me S-league CEO Mr Lim still does not know who are the 12 teams in the league next season and if that is not the case, then it is time he get the FAS Director of Competitions to get to work already.

There should be no more excuses especially as our S-league CEO is no longer a greenhorn and has been 'in charge' for 18 months already.

He must know the fans do not accept that the fixture list cannot be finalised before February virtually every year having been at the end of that criticisms last season.

Also his excuse that it is for the reason S-league will finally see the end of postponement of games have no ground to stand on as there were still a number of that happening in 2013, I might add.

So he must show he is worthy of his $100k cheque for if he cannot take on this task then what chances does he have with even tougher assignments on hand as he noted in his many interviews.

Also at this point of S-league history, S-league should have some fixtures that can be fixed at certain point.

Example is this article below from four four two (Australia version).

One can see A-league is seeking to make certain dates in the calender their own and that is a good point to follow.

For one thing, it will allow fans to know certain games will be played at that point in the year and momentum can be build up for it unlike now where one is still uncertain about when a big game is played.

A-league is not the only one to follow that with the Scottish Premier league playing their two biggest derby - Old firm and Edinburgh - in the festive period in Christmas and New Year.

And the Barclays Premier League also sold their Big 4 weekend for a number of years back when one knew who the Big 4 were.

So one can see the benefits of fixing certain games at certain point in the calender so which ones should be chosen.

The easy one should be the uniform Derby and Home United can played in Bishan on Total Defence Day (February 15) with the Warriors playing in Choa Chu Kang on SAF day (July 1).

After that, what other games can be played and when, here are my viewpoints.

For clubs like champions Tampines Rovers, it could come on the day or week that their new Town were constructed and it could be noted as a celebration of the birth of the Town.

Afterall, Tampines Town have a history of 34 years already and it own football club should link up with that especially when they move back East after the new hub is build.

A carnival festival can be set up for it and a game against Derby rival Geylang International to be played during that week is more than appropriate.

In addition, to show appreciation for fans group like the Hougang Hools and Black Sheep, a date can be set for them and other than the official game, it can even be arranged for the rival fan group to play a short game before kick off.

This can surely bring the relationship between fans group and club a step closer.

Finally, not leaving out the foreign clubs, both Albirex Niigata (S) and Harimau Muda can played a home game in the week of their national birthday. (Japan should be February 11 and Malaysia is August 31)

Their opposition could be (1) Courts Young Lions or the Uniform teams, as they have links with central authority or (2) the S-league champions for playing the best team in the land at that date can be seem as more than appropriate.

After 17 years of S-league, the fixture list should no longer be a mystery to fans where they have to guess when certain games are played and it is time for S-league CEO Mr Lim to act on it; especially in releasing it out in the first of January and not February.