Monday, January 27, 2014


SLeague Contributes $200 Million To Economy

This dates back to October but I never really had the time to address it.

The head of the Football Association of Singapore claimed that the local game contributed a whopping $200 million to the local economy each year. It was a number that had many people scratching their heads...attendances are down, people are apathetic about the game yet apparently this esteemed gentleman sees plenty of roses.

At least one media outlet decided to dig a little and this is what they found.

"This amount is derived from various income streams including, but not limited to, sponsorship, clubhouse operations, fundraising activities, gaming income, gate receipts and advertising revenue."

 "Apart from football-specific jobs such as professional players, coaches, referees, fitness instructors and physiotherapists, the industry contributes to employment in other capacities including marketing, management, accounting, administration, sales, communications, F&B and media."

By the same token, McDonalds also contributes billions to the economy because of the fast food specific jobs such as burger flippers, table clearers, plus the industry contributes to employment in other capacities including marketing, administration etc.

 An explanation that really isn't an explanation, I prefer this explanation.

Tua Pao Xian, a Singaporean, said he has no doubt that a 12-team S.League with matches played in front of a few dozen people each time can generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year: “Ya, I’m sure the multiplier effect is at work here.”

“Someone watching the S.League must have bet on soccer, then go to temple and pray for good fortune.”

“So, he burn paper money to his ancestors, who use it in the other realm.”

“As each note is $100 million, the ancestor uses two notes, so that’s why got $200 million.”

While the FAS seem to celebrate in grandiose, meaningless statements, compare with the English Premier League who actually provided serious numbers to a House of Lords debate.

As a result, the Premier League has become much more than just the United Kingdom’s most popular regular sporting competition. It has also become an important economic agent, with a significant impact on employment, GDP and national and local economies. A number of related industries have benefited from the Premier League’s strength, including broadcasting, marketing and other communications industries, and the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Premier League Clubs have become the social focus of many urban communities and are often the most prominent symbol of their cities in the UK and around the world.

The economic success of the Premier League generates significant taxation revenues for national and local government, giving the Government and local authorities a direct interest in the continued economic health of our competition. It is therefore important to bear in mind that, in considering the impact of the EU on sport, the relevant policies include employment, the internal market, economic development, trade, judicial and legal services, social inclusion, and regional policy as well as sport itself.

Benefits to the tourism industry have been recognised by VisitBritain. In 2012, the organisation claimed that around 900,000 tourists had attended a football game during their visit the previous year, and that 40 percent of these described this as the main purpose of their trip. 

They estimated that “these 900,000 foreign football tourists spent a substantial £706 million,
the equivalent of £785 per fan and £200 more than the average visitor (£583)” (VisitBritain, ‘900,000 Football-watching Visitors Spend £706 Million While In Britain’, 22 October 2012). 

In addition, with regard to tax revenue, Deloitte recently valued the amount of tax contributed by English professional football to the government, in 2011/12, at £1.3 billion (Annual Review of Football Finance—Highlights, June 2013, page 8).

Note the presence of references?

Notice the difference between the Singapore FA head's claims and the finely researched notes from the EPL? Notice how the latter talks about specific contributions directly attributable to football?

The Singapore claims could be applied to bus drivers, leaflet distributors or Mabel. It lacks substance, evidence or research. In short, football as an industry offers nothing to the local economy beyond providing jobs. Tax benefits, zilch, tourism boost, zilch, GDP gain, zilch.

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