Football Tribe SEA Editor
Following news that Warriors FC, Singapore’s most decorated club, will sit out the 2020 season due to financial issues, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has announced that one of the city-state’s most historic clubs has stepped in to replace the Rhinos in the upcoming season.
As reported by The New Paper, Queenstown-based Tanjong Pagar United will take Warriors’ place in the upcoming 2020 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, having gone through a stringent assessment process by the FAS. The Jaguars were a force in Singaporean football during the 80s and 90s and were one of the founding members of the S.League, the predecessor to the SPL. Tanjong Pagar played in the S.League from 1996 to 2004, before financial difficulties forced them to pull out. They returned in 2011, only to withdraw again in 2014, with financial difficulties once again being the reason. However, the Jaguars took their time to regroup and consolidate their finances, having re-applied to the Singaporean top flight for the past three seasons only to have their applications rejected. Fourth’s time the charm, though, and Tanjong Pagar are set to make their comeback to the Singaporean top flight.
The FAS declared that Tanjong Pagar “…have met all the necessary prerequisites…to participate in the 2020 Singapore Premier League season.” This was obviously met with delight by Tanjong Pagar’s chairman, Raymond Tang.
“We’re all very happy to be able to return after sitting out for so many years,” Tang told The New Paper, “We look forward to helping develop Singaporean football and groom young talents. We’re going to form a committee and recruit players soon.”
Tang, who owns a car dealership in the city-state, is wary about the dangers of overspending, and because of that, he doesn’t set any targets for his Tanjong Pagar team in the 2020 season. Tang expects his Tanjong Pagar side to slowly grow into the competition, spending and working within their means and trying their best to avoid overspending on star players that would end up jeopardizing the Jaguars’ finances yet again. Tang also added that his Tanjong Pagar team are expected to share the Jurong East Stadium with Albirex Niigata (S), due to the league’s policies on stadiums. The Japanese satellite team had previously shared the Jurong East with Warriors prior to the Rhinos’ sit out.
During the six years that they’ve sat out the league, Tanjong Pagar United have regularly fielded a women’s team in the Singapore Women’s National League, while at the same time regularly holding football clinics at schools and events as well as holding fundraisers.