Albirex committed despite exit talk

Albirex Niigata (S) insist they are fully committed to the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League after reports suggested they could be ready to leave Singapore's top flight.

Football News: Albirex Niigata

By staff

On Friday, the Today newspaper reported the White Swans, who act as a feeder club to J-League side Albirex Niigata, are evaluating their participation in the S.League after it was revealed that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) were close to inviting another Japanese side - Cerezo Osaka - to join the league.

Albirex were said to be of the belief that Singapore is too small to host two teams from the same country, with Japanese fans and corporate sponsors then having to divide their loyalties between both clubs.

However, in a statement released on Friday evening, Albirex (S) chairman Daisuke Korenaga has rubbished these reports and reiterated his side's dedication to the S.League.

"I wish to assure our fans that we remain committed to the S.League," Korenaga said.

"Since our participation in the S.League from 2004, we have always had a strong working relationship with the Football Association of Singapore and the S.League management.

"We have built up a substantial fan base, both local and Japanese, over the past nine years. We are committed to our fans and supporters to keep the club going from strength to strength both on and off the pitch."

Albirex (S), arguably the most stable foreign club to have joined the S.League, picked up their first piece of silverware in Singapore football last year by winning the League Cup, and were losing finalists in the RHB Singapore Cup when they were beaten 1-0 by Home United.

Off the field, the White Swans are also hugely involved in community work and Korenaga expects that to continue in the future.

"Through many sporting avenues, in addition to football activities, we want to and will continue to reach out to the community and contribute to Singapore as a sports club," he added.

"We hope that our fans and supporters in Singapore will continue to support the S.League, Albirex Niigata Football Club (Singapore) and our many outreach activities."

Since their competition debut in 2004, Albirex have never ended an S.League campaign below eighth, and finished an all-time high of fourth last season.

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