Pegasus to withdraw from Premier League

Tsang Ngan-ping

Pegasus have informed the HKFA of their intention to withdraw from the Premier League, ending their 13-year run in the top flight.

The Horsemen’s race is run as far as their future in the Premier League goes.

The Hong Kong Football Association confirmed to Headline Daily on Monday that it has received a letter from the club, notifying the organization of their withdrawal from the top flight. HKFA chairman Pui Kwan-kay had announced on 15 July that only six clubs had confirmed their participation in the upcoming Premier League season, while also stating that Pegasus had asked for extra time.

But, in the two weeks since the announcement, Pegasus remained unable to secure enough sponsorship to make another season in the professional ranks viable. A source told Offside that projected sponsorship income was $2 million short what the club deemed as necessary in order to compete in the upcoming season. The club continue to be on the hook for salaries owed to players last season, with the total debt reportedly as high as $4 million, according to last month’s figures.

Thus, the Horsemen called full time on their 13-year stay in the top flight, during which the club won two FA Cups and one Senior Shield – although no silverware had been earned since 2016. Although the club’s roots began in Yuen Long, Pegasus moved their home matches to Mong Kok Stadium in 2013 and later to Hong Kong Stadium in 2015 before returning to Yuen Long Stadium last season. The club’s return was a box office success as the Horsemen drew no fewer than 1,215 fans in any of their matches at Yuen Long Stadium, propelling the club to the second highest average attendance in the league.

Pegasus did not respond to requests for comment on the matter however, head coach Kenneth Kwok told the media that he had not received official notification from the club.

“There’s nothing I can do because I am still under contract with the club and there are some players who are in the same boat,” said Kwok, who signed a two year deal with the Horsemen last year. “If the team does withdraw in the end, then it will be a disappointment because our squad was looking forward to building on the foundations that we laid down last season.”


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