Albirex Niigata (S) S.League champions 'to look for new clubs'

The quadruple-winning side of Albirex Niigata (S) may quickly fall apart because of an uncertainty over the future of S.League funding.

According to chairman Daisuke Korenaga, Albirex's all-conquering squad is unlikely to stay intact, with players already in search of new clubs.

The S.League is still waiting to find out the extent of its 2018 funding from the Tote Board, which affects the budgets of all clubs.

"I sent my proposal [for the 2018 season] to the [Football Association of Singapore] several times. This week, I called them every day asking for updates. But there has been no new information," Korenaga told The Sunday Times after Albirex won the Singapore Cup final on Saturday night.

"I need to tell my players about the situation honestly. I have no choice but to tell them that they are free to look for a new club."

But Korenaga ruled out the chance that Albirex may walk away from Singapore football, ahead of what would be a 15th season here.

"Definitely no," he said when asked if there was the possibility of exiting the island. "We want to stay in the S-League and we want to be the leaders in terms of quality.

"We want to make a positive contribution to Singapore football. We want to help Singapore produce more young local players. I hope we can be allowed to train a few young players, get them to learn the right things like discipline and hard work and hopefully, they will be good enough to play for Singapore."

The White Swans defeated Philippines' side Global-Cebu FC 3-1 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra time in the Singapore Cup final to become the first team to lift the trophy three times in a row.

They have scooped all Singapore trophies in the past two seasons, and, in the process, built a 27-game winning streak at their home ground of Jurong East Stadium.