Boardroom shake-ups add to Tampines' struggles
But club chief Krishna says FAS should help Stags address cash-flow issues as they are on the right track
One of his most important goals is to change mindsets about local football and the financial models governing it, but Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra has to first negotiate cash-flow issues and deal with the resignation of at least four members of their management committee.
Former club chairman Teo Hock Seng - who led Tampines from 1999 until November last year - has also called time on his role as adviser of the Stags.
"He (Teo) is not in the committee, he and some members of the committee have resigned and I've taken over by virtue of the fact that there is no chairman, and I was the vice-chairman from the previous committee," Krishna told The New Paper yesterday, adding that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has already issued a statement with regard to his appointment.
"Technically, the new committee is appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), with members appointed who are approved by the S.League and FAS. We have not done the AGM, and there is no record (of the new leadership) in the Registry of Society (ROS), but that is a technicality."
TNP understands that within the last two weeks, four members of the club's nine-strong management committee submitted resignations which were accepted by Krishna.
According to rule No. 6 of the S.League clubs' constitution, the S.League, as the "Founding Member", reserves the right to appoint six members of a club's management committee, including the chairman.
While the FAS did not answer questions on how Krishna was allowed to act in the interests of the club, and what the implications are on responsibility, a spokesman said in a statement: "While the clubs are autonomous entities and are registered societies, we will always endeavour to support them in their initiatives and alleviate any challenges they may face within the prescribed guidelines and regulatory framework."
In an interview with TNP on Thursday, Krishna, 44, acknowledged that he had approached the FAS for help over cash-flow issues.
Sources have revealed that the four Tampines committee members submitted their written resignations after Tampines' sponsor, Komoco Motors and Teo, had handed over $360,000 of the $400,000 promised for the entire year, within the first three months of the 2016 S.League season.
Lawyer Krishna yesterday called for the FAS to make its position known, as he looks to keep the title contenders on a path forward.
"If you can concede that the last three months of the season have been exciting, have drawn crowds to the league, and that football has been revived... as a result of actions by Tampines and a few other clubs, then the FAS must either support or penalise the club responsible for it," he said, pointing to the advance subsidies that he has requested from the FAS to aid the club in getting over their cash-flow issues.
S.League clubs are each due around $600,000 in annual subsidies from the FAS - that are paid out in monthly tranches of approximately $50,000 - with an additional amount of some $300,000 to come should clubs meet pre-determined targets.
Said Krishna: "If the FAS believes that we are doing right things, then support it, if the model is completely wrong, then let it be known - that's my position.
"But all the signals we've received is that we've been doing a great job in reviving Singapore football."
While he asserts that the club have not overstepped in terms of planning their annual budget, he would be willing to "curtail expenses".
TNP understands that some players within Tampines' star-studded 24-man squad have been earmarked to be released to other clubs during the mid-season transfer window from May 16 to June 10.
Krishna revealed that his financial model, centred on an academy - in partnership with Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho - instead of jackpot operations that most clubs rely on, has had to "be put on the back-burner" because of the cash- flow issues.
"I'm aggrieved that certain quarters (in the football fraternity) feel that we should not be supported, even though we are pushing the bar, and I see no reason why the FAS and S.League cannot come together to make this (Tampines effort) work," he said, moving to allay fears of fans and players, who Krishna assured will be paid their salaries.
"We may be slower off the blocks, but we are confident we will finish the race."