By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
It was reported by TODAYOnline yesterday (‘FAS spending on grassroots competitions sparks outrage‘) that members of the local football community were angry that only $70,000 was spent by FAS on community competitions in the local scene last FY (April 2015 to March 2016). This includes spending on the National Football League (NFL) and Island Wide League (IWL).
According to the FAS, the total organising expenses for community competitions like the NFL, IWL, FA Cup and Singapore 9s, amounted to just over $112,000.. This amount was offset by club participation fees of $41,000, resulting in about $70,000 of net spending from the FAS (each NFL and IWL club pays $1,700 to take part in the competitions).
The $70,000 spending to help develop football in the community scene was minuscule compared to FAS’ total revenue of $35.8 million, of which the majority came from Tote board’s donations.
Volunteers forking out own money to help community football
Darwin Jalil, president of Eunos Crescent FC told the media that the $70,000 spending reflects FAS’ lack of regard for the local amateur leagues. He said that FAS is wrong to disregard the local amateur leagues because they “provide a base and platform for players to train and develop and serves as a channel for budding players to turn professional and play in the S.League”.
Yakob Hashim, coach of Yishun Sentek Mariners, also expressed his unhappiness. He revealed that many local community clubs struggle to stay afloat because of a lack of money.
“If you’re serious about making the NFL and IWL become proper leagues and improve the standard of players at a grassroots level, then you need to provide some seed money to the clubs,” explained Yakob. “A lot of the club owners are volunteers, but have to fork out their own money to run the club because they’re passionate about local football.”
Even a professional S.League club chairman commented, “I am somewhat disturbed at how the NFL and IWL have been effectively marginalised. No meaningful football ecosystem can be developed if the grassroots football leagues are not encouraged to flourish.”
“This gross imbalance in budget allocation to the elite (S.League) and non-elite (community) football is worrisome. It belies a lack of understanding of the football ecosystem,” he added.
$1.6 million salaries for key management personnel
Meanwhile, according to its last year’s annual report, FAS paid $1,640,056 to its “key management personnel”.
The key management personnel are listed as:
• General Secretary
• CEO of S.League
• National Coach
• Technical Director
• Director S.League
• Deputy General Secretary
The FAS annual report also revealed the salary ranges of 3 of its top key executives:
• $200,001 to $300,000 – 1 person
• $400,001 to $500,000 – 2 persons
Presumably, FAS’ top key operating management personnel, the General Secretary, must be receiving a remuneration of between $400,001 to $500,000.