Dickies plug for quality in league

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 June, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 June, 1996, 12:00am

League and Viceroy Cup champions Instant-Dict have called for quality rather than quantity as the number of First Division teams competing next season hangs in the balance.

With Second Division sides Tung Po and Kui Tan both turning down invitations to join the senior league, the Hong Kong FA may be facing a shortage of First Division teams. Only eight clubs are expected to play in the top flight compared to the traditional 10.

The situation was complicated when Frankwell, relegated to the Second Division, decided to stay down even after the Hong Kong FA had given them an opening for an immediate return, and amateur side Club also turned down an invitation.

But eight teams would suit Hong Kong fine, according to Instant-Dict executive director Ken Ng who said the league would have a better crop of players all round.

'I think the crowd wants to see good quality teams. Seven or eight teams playing in the league would be better than say eight teams and two weaker teams. Competition in the league and the three knock-out trophies would be keener,' said Ng.

The First Division picture became clearer when Golden finally registered with the Hong Kong FA last Friday.

Golden had failed to register after being given a 15-day deadline extension when the club failed to meet the initial June 1 registration cut-off.

There were doubts Golden would continue to run a club after their main backers, Golden Atomic, threatened to pull out.

Club president Simon Wan Chi-lok has decided to leave the club but Golden Atomic have vowed to continue their sponsorship with the club - to the tune of $10 million.

So far Scottish striker Lee Bullen, Bosnian forward Anto Grabo and defender Mark Grainger have been retained as the club's foreign players.

They have signed defender Leung Shing-kit from Instant-Dict and left-back Chan Wai-chiu from South China.

Goalkeeper Chan Hing-wing and defender Pang Kam-chuen have been released.