Two-tier S-League in 2014?

It's been 16 years since the S-League kicked off.

In 1996, eight teams graced the inaugural season.

Two years from now, that number could double as the league expands to a two-tier format, allowing for a promotion-relegation system between a total of 16 teams.

This is the plan of S-League CEO Lim Chin as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) looks towards developing S-League version 2.0.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Lim said the plans for a two-tier league, titled S1-S2, are at a "very preliminary stage" and that the FAS plans to hold a "big meeting in April" to discuss the viability and various options with all football stakeholders.

He said: "The main purpose (of this idea) is to expand the league. If there is no relegation, the bottom teams at the end of every season have little to fight for.

"Also, we are looking towards getting back into the AFC Champions League, which currently requires teams to be from leagues which have a promotion-relegation system.

"But I must stress that all this is very preliminary. These are just some ideas we are exploring as we look five years ahead.

"We are still at the idea-generation stage and not even at the discussion stage.

"We are simply looking at options to see if it is feasible for the league to grow into S1 and S2, and we will know more after the meeting in April - after gathering feedback and input from the stakeholders.

"Then, we can explore the different ways of adopting a new format."

According to Lim, one option is to have eight teams in each tier.

To achieve this, the S-League could either increase the number of foreign teams from three to four or five or "promote" one or two teams from the NFL (National Football League) divisions.

Earlier this month, TNP reported that Admiralty FC, currently in the NFL Division Two, have already expressed interest in joining the S-League next year.

Lim added that the S-League is also exploring the idea of including the reserve or Prime League teams from some of the top sides in the existing league.

The main team and "B" team would then play in S1 and S2 respectively.

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