Football: S-League funding could be halved for 2018 season

An S-League match between Warriors FC and Garena Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium on June 28, 2017.
An S-League match between Warriors FC and Garena Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium on June 28, 2017. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Funding for the S-League is expected to be halved next season.

The Straits Times understands that the Tote Board is prepared to disburse only $8.5 million for the Republic's only professional sports league for 2018, down from the annual figure of $16 million.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) was informed of this decision last week.

A SportSG spokesman said on Friday (Sept 8): "Discussions are ongoing with FAS on the future plans for the S-League. Until an agreement is reached, it will be premature to talk about the funding."

An FAS spokesman added: "It is premature at this stage to talk about the funding from SportSG as discussions are still ongoing. We are gathering feedback from stakeholders on the proposed plans for the S-League so that we can provide SportSG with all the relevant views as they contemplate the desired outcome for the S-League."

ST understands that the FAS is preparing plans to show its determination to improve the ailing S-League. This includes beefing up development to allow more youngsters to play regularly in the competition.

 

In March, SportSG announced that it would be the gatekeeper of the Tote Board's annual subsidies to the FAS, which include an additional $9 million for the association's other operational needs like the national team, women's football and payroll for staff. The Tote Board manages grant-making activities from gaming surpluses generated by Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club.

This is in line with the agency's practice of disbursing funds to all national sports associations. Previously, the Tote Board disbursed the sum - totalling $25 million - directly to the FAS.

The six local S-League clubs (Balestier Khalsa, Geylang International, Home United, Hougang United, Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC) receive about $800,000 in funding from the Tote Board annually. These clubs typically operate on an annual budget of $1.2 million to $1.5 million.