Etoile FC were allowed to play two seasons in the S-League despite having failed to provide the full $500,000 banker's guarantee that foreign clubs have to put up, it is believed.
That is one reason why the club, facing debts 'a few times more' than the $100,000 that has been reported, has been struggling to repay money owed to players from last season.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) normally requires foreign clubs to furnish a $500,000 performance bond when they join the league. The money can then be drawn upon if a club defaults on payments - from the rental of stadiums to player salaries. If a club pulls out of the S-League, like Etoile did on Jan16, the money will then be returned.
But the French club struggled to put up the banker's guarantee when it arrived in January 2010. The league's then-director of finance Tan Bong Him said at the time: 'All new clubs have the option to furnish their payments by instalments. Both Etoile and Beijing (Guoan Talent), have met their first instalment obligation and they have till March to complete their final payment.'
SOURCE - The Straits Times
COMMENT - First the former CEO of Etoile is appointed deputy CEO of SLeague. Then a newspaper discovers he is bankrupt back in France, his home country. The FA announce one of their investigations they love so much, the ones where they throw hefty fines, deduct points and talk tough at clubs and players, before announcing that in fact he is not bankrupt and will make an announcement 'soon'.
In Singapore business school speak 'soon' is synonymous with Indonesia's jam karet.
Anyway now we find this. That Etoile had not paid any bond up front like other foreign teams must do. The really funny thing, and I mean rolling on the floor kicking your legs in the air, tears flowing down your eyes hilarious, is that Etoile must make their final payment by March!
Or what? Whatcha gonna do? Kick em out the league? They've already gone. Fine them? They have no money.
You know what? A bit more transparency from the offices of the Football Association might go a long way. Because the way things are it appears everyone there is in damage control mode. Delay follows delay, obfuscation mixes with opaqueness and what you end up with is the image of people rushing round trying to hush things up and protect themselves rather than actually getting busy with running the game of football.