Local S-League club get subsidiy
SINGAPORE : S.League clubs will get monetary help to recruit foreign talent for the 2009 season.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is giving each local club a S$2,000 subsidy a month to hire fresh foreign players.
Planning for the 2009 season is already underway. Changes include getting clubs to hire new foreign players who have never played in the Singapore league before.
Quah Kim Song, chief, Competitions, Football Association of Singapore, said: “To make this attractive to the clubs, we are giving them a subsidy. This is to freshen the league because we have seen a lot of foreign players being recycled from one club to the other. We will subsidise the club with a S$2,000 subsidy for every month.”
Only one player from each club will enjoy the new subsidy. And the FAS is not imposing a minimum wage to be paid to such players. But the bad news is that only local clubs will benefit from the new initiative.
FAS will spend a total of S$216,000 if all the nine local clubs take the S$24,000 per annum grant.
The Association is also helping by bringing in talent for clubs to select.
5 new players from Canada and France have already been recruited by 4 S.League clubs.
Two Canadians are with Sengkang Punggol, another is with Geylang United, while Gombak United and Tampines Rovers have a Frenchman each.
The funds will also help clubs deal with the current economic crisis.
But clubs are doing more to cut costs, including releasing players with high wages, cutting salaries and even the number of players.
Teo Hock Seng, chairman, Tampines Rovers FC, said: “What we will do is we will bring in less than the 20 players allocated, meaning we will sit on 17 or 18 players at the most…I will have to bring in my Prime League players to cover up (the players on the bench).”
The funding given to local clubs collected from soccer betting revenue is also expected to be cut.
This year, each club got about S$450,000, but a 10 per cent reduction is on the cards for 2009.
Despite this, FAS hopes that with better foreign talent, play will improve and attendance will not drop as fans get to watch quality football.