Nine months ago, Tampines Rovers scored a coup when it lured former Arsenal and Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant to Singapore. Now, it is reported that Pennant is leaving Singapore after just one season. Before leaving though, he fired a shot across the bow of Singapore football by saying not even Lionel Messi can save the local S-League.
You know what’s the saddest thing about what he said? He was right.
Sadly, the fact is Singapore football is in the doldrums. No one really go to see the S-League anymore and the champion of the season is Japanese club Albirex Niigata which is exactly a satellite team for the Albirex Niigata team in Japan. Yes, a feeder squad from Japan won the local league.
Honestly, the impact of Pennant has been limited but that doesn’t mean what he said about Singapore football is incorrect. The shining light in all this? There’s no way to go but up.