S.League clubs fined for non-payment of CPF for reserves
S.League clubs fined for non-payment of CPF for Prime League players
Local clubs in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League have been taken to task by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board for non-payment of CPF monies to their youth players who turn out in the Prime League.
The issue was first raised some seven months ago, with sources revealing that while clubs do pay CPF monies to players in their S.League squad, the same was not extended to players in their Prime League (reserve) squads who were deemed to be paid "allowances" instead of salaries.
The New Paper understands that because of that distinction, clubs have never paid CPF monies for Prime League players.
Some clubs have responded to CPF's demands and made the necessary payments - backdated five years to 2012 - but others have not.
TNP understands that clubs have had to pay up to $70,000 in monies owed to its players, as well as some $30,000 in fines.
Based on the assumption that the average Prime League player earns $300, with each club maintaining a squad of 20, the annual CPF monies would amount to $14,400. A five-year bill would then set a club back by $72,000.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) did not respond to TNP queries on which clubs have settled outstanding amounts and which have not, but an S.League spokesman acknowledged the situation.
Said the spokesman: "The respective clubs concerned are in the process of resolving the matter with the CPF Board.
"We are confident that the clubs will be able to quickly and fairly resolve this matter. S.League shall provide the relevant assistance to the clubs where we can."
Balestier Khalsa chairman S Thavaneson told TNP that the club had settled their bill with the CPF Board last year.
We are confident that the clubs will be able to quickly and fairly resolve this matter. S.League shall provide the relevant assistance to the clubs where we can.An S.League spokesman on the non-payment of CPF monies for Prime League players
He said: "The CPF Board has asked us to pay back (owed monies) for the last five years.
"That was not something that we had budgeted for, but these are the rules and we had to bite the bullet.
"We have settled our (bills) in June 2016 and, since then, we have made CPF contributions to our Prime League players," he added.
Clubs are understood to have overlooked payments to their Prime League players because of a misunderstanding in the definitions of allowances and salaries.
The S.League did not directly respond to queries on whether this situation is a result of an oversight on its part, or that of its clubs.
But its spokesman said: "The S.League understands that the clubs had in the past been under the perception that the 'allowance' paid to the Prime League players did not necessitate CPF contributions."
This has come at a bad time for S.League clubs who have yet to learn just how much they will receive in annual subsidies from the S.League for this season.
Local clubs have received up to $800,000 each in annual subsidies from the Tote Board in the past, but with the five-year funding cycle ending last season, clubs have yet to learn the amount of this season's subsidy.
They have assembled the bulk of their squads and have started pre-season training, but the uncertainty could prove to be a serious obstacle to some clubs.
TNP understands that the S.League is scheduled to kick off next month.