Revamp and new CEO for S.League

A revamped S.League and a new Chief Executive Officer were among several key announcements made by the Football Association of Singapore on Friday.

S-League: Lim Chin, Zainudin Nordin

With the new domestic season in Singapore set to start on February 9, Lim Chin, a former Singapore Armed Forces FC chairman, has been installed as the S.League's new CEO, with one-time Etoile FC CEO and chairman Johan Gouttefangeas acting as his deputy.

The duo, under the guidance of FAS President Zainudin Nordin and armed with a 5-year plan, have been tasked to transform the S.League into a more viable business entity and help implement a raft of changes aimed at increasing the S.League's quality and attractiveness both on and off the pitch.

Speaking of his appointment and the need to boost the S.League's profile throughout Singapore, Mr Lim said: "I am honoured to join an organisation that has gained recognition and stature both regionally and internationally. I am grateful that we have secured additional financial resources for the clubs over the next five years, as well as introducing the new initiatives aimed at boosting the Great Eastern YEO'S S.League in 2012.

"One of my immediate priorities is to explore ways to increase match-day attendance and revenue streams. I look forward to meeting and working closely with our stakeholders including the FAS, club chairmen, sponsors, advertisers, media, volunteers and fans as we aspire to raise the standard of our professional league."

Mr Gouttefangeas added: "I am privileged to be appointed as the Deputy CEO and I look forward to tapping my extensive network of contacts in Europe, Australia and Asia and recommend quality foreign players to our S.League clubs.

"There are exciting times ahead and I urge all football-loving Singaporeans to stand united and come forward to support the S.League. I am excited to take on the challenges ahead and I look forward to working closely with Mr Lim and other members of the management team."

In a plan dubbed S.League Version 2.0, Singapore's elite division is set to feature two more foreign teams for the 2012 season, with the debut of Malaysia's highly talented Harimau Muda side, as well as the return of Brunei's DPMM FC.

The duo, along with the 12 other teams in this year's S.League, will now only play two rounds instead of the usual three, with games to be played on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Further outlining the FAS' determination to continually improve, Mr Zainudin revealed that S.League teams will be allowed to sign four foreign stars, with the potential to add a marquee signing whose salary would not have to adhere to the league's current salary cap. A subsidy for young foreign players will also be available.

"We must believe in this product and support it. Singaporeans must see value in their own product which is the S.League," Mr Zainudin declared.

Mr Zainudin also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Winston Lee.

"Under Winston's stewardship as CEO for the past five years, the S.League has progressed well and it is now firmly established as one of the top professional football leagues in Asia. Despite the constraints and challenges facing Singapore football Winston has done well to strengthen the S.League in all aspects."

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