Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Are Tampines 'Living The Dream'?

Following the news Tampines Rovers had been asking the Football Association of Singapore for an advance the game's governing body has said No. Nien. Niet. Non. Mai dai. Yes, I know...rare for the FAS to do anything quickly. They still don't have a replacement lined up for Bernd Stange even though they knew yonks ago he would be leaving.

The Stags have been busy splashing cash on headline grabbers like Jermaine Pennant, a tie up with Ronaldhino and getting Gerrard Houllier as a global ambassador as well as more mundane stuff like signing the bulk of the LionsXII squad as they seek to regain the SLeague title.

Unlike most SLeague clubs Tampines don't have nay income from gaming machines meaning they must source their money from things like sponsorship and through the gate and while attendances have been healthy so far this season 2,500 people paying $6 a game won't make much of a contribution to Pennant's salary.

Tampines deserve credit for their efforts to raise the profile of Singapore football. However while the Pennant signing could work well on and off the field the other headline grabbing moves have left many, well me, scratching my head. How does an involvement with Ronaldhino benefit the club? And Houllier, that well known expert on football Asian? What will he bring to the table? Apparently not any sponsors. Yet.

The Stags have also moved their AFC Cup tie with Selangor to the new National Stadium and the owners thereof aren't renown for their largesse or charity. Playing there may attract a reasonable crowd but will the costs of hiring the stadium and playing for all them busybodies in hi vis jackets leave anything in the kitty.

FAS, not renown for thinking out of the box, should be supporting Tampines' efforts to boost the profile of the local game. After all, they don't contribute much. But they are right to say no to their request for more money up front. First Tampines, then who?

Nope, Tampines should not be spending more cash than they have coming in just for a few extra likes of RTs. Headlines like them ain't cheap and if you want to see what happens to big spenders who don't take precautions then look up the recent history of Leeds United. Or Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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