News Singapore Premier League • April 15, 2020
Local SPL clubs to retain full wages for players and backroom staff
SINGAPORE, 15 APRIL 2020 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has announced that after extensive discussions with the respective local Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs’ chairmen and relevant stakeholders, there will be no revisions made to the wages of their club players and staff at the current moment.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused several football leagues across the world to seek wage revisions for both playing and non-playing staff. While there were similar concerns from the various local SPL clubs on the issue of financial sustainability given the indefinite suspension period of the league and the resulting impact on each club’s revenue, the FAS strongly believes that wage cuts at this juncture would be premature and such an action would only serve to be one that would be short-sighted and reactive.
Led by FAS President Lim Kia Tong and FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari, constructive engagements sessions were held with the SPL club chairmen and key stakeholders, where viable and sustainable solutions were explored for club players and staff to remain motivated and focused while their safety, well-being and livelihoods were kept at the highest priority. A viable solution was eventually made possible with supplementary subsidy to be disbursed by the FAS in order to aid the clubs during this difficult period.
In addition, the FAS will collaborate with the local SPL clubs to capitalise on this “down-time”, by investing resources to assist them to further develop their capabilities. By doing this, it will also relieve the clubs’ main concern of long-term sustainability. This would include specific online courses for players, coaches as well as administrative staff which will equip them with the necessary skill sets to be future-ready once the sport is able to resume as per normal. Greater focus will also be placed on ensuring that the players not only maintain their current level of fitness but also explore ways of raising them as well.
FAS President Lim Kia Tong said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to not just football but every sport on a global scale. The FAS had taken proactive measures by initiating discussions with the local SPL clubs once it was clear that the situation was becoming more dire. We have always maintained the view that the job security of our SPL players and club officials was of the utmost importance which is why we have arrived at a solution which does not impact their financial earnings at this juncture.
“By implementing these capability development initiatives which would go some way towards honing the proficiencies of our SPL players, coaches and staff, not only are we ensuring that they remain focused on the sport but also prepare them to hit the ground running once we are able to resume football as per normal when the time comes.”
Tampines Rovers FC Chairman Desmond Ong said, “I am extremely grateful to the FAS and my fellow chairmen. This crisis has seen us pull together as one united community and it is heartening to see the FAS stepping in and taking the lead to assist us during a critical period like this. Despite the somewhat unnecessary speculation in recent weeks, I believe that we have arrived at a solution that will give our players and staff a huge amount of comfort during these difficult times.”
The SPL season had kicked off on 29 February this year with 13 fixtures being played before the tournament was suspended on 24 March as a result of the Singapore Government’s directive. During that time the SPL saw impressive attendances in its opening matches, with the match between Tanjong Pagar United FC and Lion City Sailors FC attracting over 2,700 fans to catch the action live at the stadium while close to 79,000 fans tuned in on the various online streaming platforms. The FAS will continue to assess the situation while being in close consultation with the relevant authorities before deciding on the appropriate next steps for the SPL.