SINGAPORE (Jan 21): When Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) overcame 5,000-to-1 odds to be crowned English Premier League champions in the 2015-16 season, it was hailed as one of the greatest sports upset stories ever. After all, the Foxes had been tipped to be a favourite to face relegation.

Stories such as LCFC’s unbelievable triumph against all odds illustrate why struggling Singapore-listed companies should be given the time and space to get back into the groove and return to the top flight, says Ong Hwee Li, CEO of corporate finance firm SAC Capital, which acts as a sponsor for Catalist companies.

Ong says allowing underperforming Mainboard companies to downgrade to the Catalist board is akin to the football league system. “If you do well, you may be promoted to the EPL; if not, you go down to the Championship [the second tier of the English football league],” says Ong. “You do have teams that drop off and then come back up again… But to close down the whole club is difficult, and not very fair for certain stakeholders as well.”

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