Krishna's own goal with Tampines
Shunning jackpot revenue, Tampines chairman has failed in generating income through other avenues
They are the top local football club in Singapore.
They command the biggest following among fans and are perennial challengers for the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League title.
Tampines Rovers have been crowned champions of the S.League on five occasions and have consistently attracted top talent who know the club pay well and always challenge for silverware.
This year, they pushed Albirex Niigata hard for much of the season until the Japanese outfit claimed the championship with victory over Hougang United last night.
It will probably mark a watershed moment for the club, because it may be some time before we see the Stags challenge again for the biggest prize in local football.
The New Paper reported yesterday that Tampines will only pay a monthly salary of $2,500 to players next season as finances have tightened considerably at the club.
Chairman Krishna Ramachandra, who succeeded Teo Hock Seng last November, has eschewed income from jackpot takings and, instead, insisted on raising revenue through sponsorship and other avenues like a football academy.
His is a moral argument, which does beg the question whether he should have taken the helm of the club in the first place.
He has failed in the most critical mission at any professional football club, which is to raise revenue and turn it into a successful outfit worthy of fan support.
S.League clubs operate on a yearly budget of around $1.2 million to $1.5m and they receive an annual grant of approximately $800,000, with much of the rest of the income garnered from jackpot operations.
Krishna discontinued jackpot operations as club chairman because he believes it is not right to earn money through such an avenue.
But the club were in financial strife already this year until sponsors came in during the second half of the season in an $850,000 deal.
But he has yet to convince sponsors to come in and back the giants of Singapore football next season and will now install a salary cap that is extremely low.
Surely, the new Tampines chief must have taken control of the club well familiar with operations and armed with a battleplan to keep the Stags fighting at the top, but they continue to struggle to lure backers to cope with the lack of financing from jackpot operations.
Surely he should have stuck with the jackpot machines, phasing them out gradually once other revenue streams picked up.
I praised Krishna earlier this year over some of his fresh moves and ideas. The corporate lawyer signed former Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant, making headlines across Asia and in the UK.
He organised an awards gala to raise revenue, he worked hard to switch Tampines' AFC Cup quarter-final home clash with Selangor from the 6,000-capacity Jalan Besar Stadium to the National Stadium and the match attracted around 15,000 fans.
He signed Gerard Houllier as the club's international ambassador.
He answered the national call when he made no fuss in allowing coach V Sundramoorthy to hold sway as Lions supremo earlier in the year.
But, he has failed to raise money to finance the club and dark clouds now hover over the best supported team in local football.
Tampines have 14 players capped by Singapore, with salaries ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 per month.
Pennant is on $20,000 a month, and his foreign colleagues Jordan Webb and Billy Mehmet probably command close to $10,000 a month.
They will line up against Albirex in the RHB Singapore Cup final on Oct 29 and will try to prevent Naoki Naruo's men completing a sweep of local honours.
Morale will surely be low.
And financially weakened and shorn of stars for 2017, I fear it will be some time before Singapore fans see them back in the fight for trophies.