New ownership model in Singapore could pave the way for future Asian dominance

2 June 2021

Photo: PR Players from Lion City Sailors celebrating a goal.

Lion City Sailors have the financial backing of the seventh richest man in wealthy Singapore. The CEO is investing heavily in its new academy.

The school-system and lack of football-history in the country makes it hard to convince parents that their kids should pursue a career in football.

Stadiums are small and far from packed – but the CEO of Lion City Sailors, Chun-Liang Chew is inspired by a local olympic goldmedal winning athlete who was backed by the entire country.

Chief Executive is not worried that Singapore being a small country should be a problem. “There are many countries in Europe with populations smaller and they have not shown their limitations.”

English Premier League clubs receive an estimated $100 million a year from their games being broadcast in Singapore which is $100 million more than their Singapore Premier League (SPL) counterparts get.

This is the one of the many things Lion City Sailors intend to change about football in the tiny Southeast Asian nation. It is going to take time and money but this ambitious club has plenty of both.

“European clubs have been around for 100 years or more, while we are one year-old” says Chun-Liang Chew, Lion City’s CEO.

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