S-league clubs has come out to the open to decry talks of a round of budget cut from FAS to their seed money.
Clubs are already feeling the strains of budget constraint as the seed money have stopped growing since the mid-2000s thus it is falling behind not only inflation but also the needs to keep up with wages demand as seem by the lure of the Indonesian rupiah.
While it may seem another round of bad PR for the clubs to bring it to the open, it is a smart move as quite frankly, FAS is set to hold talks with S-league mega sponsor Singapore Pools and if the issue was not brought up now, the decision will be make easily.
There will be a budget cut and once that is make, FAS will tell us it irreversible and clubs should have highlight it earlier and not after the decision is make.
So the clubs are highlighting it now and S-league CEO Winston Lee have to match his words in which he asked the local clubs to face up to the challenge of the foreign clubs or else he is a double-headed snake by cutting the seed money now if not even increasing it.
I have always brought up the issue of money as it is the single most important thing in building anything in sport in my point of view.
After all, one can see it in other local sport discipline as one thing I noticed is they always talk about the possibilities if they had the money that the government pump into a particular sport (Want to guess which sport they are talking about), they will do better.
Although from this side of the debate, there will be voices who tell you that the government do not support the sport as passionately especially when one see the amount given from the view of the world of the sport we are talking.
Just as an example, in the Scandinavia region with similar population and economic strength like Singapore, the budget for their youth development is in the region of US$60 million to U$100 million and that was a figure quoted 7 years ago when the dollar was stronger and with inflation not taking into account.
PSSI has the ASEAN region biggest budget and yet it is reportedly to be no more than U$100 million so you can see why there are voices who tell you the spending is a joke especially as we are only talking about a budget of S$20 million with about half coming from private sources.
And the problem is like everybody else in Singapore, the mentality of our biggest 'supporter' (The PM did show up at every Suzuki Cup win and a YOG football game and tell us, he support the sport) is they want us to spend but they hoped it is somebody else footing that bill.
If that the way then the example from the A-league tell us it will never happen.
The A-league is the type of league the government want which is the private source take the lead but it is suffering now due to that as 3 of their 11 clubs (with one from New Zealand in truth) have endure talks of shutdown and one (who has not joined yet) have pulled out.
Sydney Rovers is not joining the A-league as the money from the private source is not coming while both Queenland Fury and Gold Coast United cannot find a boss willing to foot the bill until the stage Fury is already barred from signing for next year thus spreading the words the club is closing down even further.
So one can see if one want to use private sources to build a fledgling league, then one is asking for the impossible as take away the support from the Indonesian regional government are giving and the Indonesian rupiah does not seem as grand.
The private sector have never taken the lead in building thing in sports unless the government is willing to act, especially in Asia, and one can see it in one of Asia most successful league - K-league.
The money may be from private sources but the truth was the corporates was 'asked' to give the league the boast it needed due to their 'civil responsibility'.
They agreed and they did it twice - first when the K-league started in 1985 and second when the J-league 'threaten' their position of Asian dominance in the early 2000s.
And the result is the corporates struck with the sport as time went by so it clear the government has to take the lead in building sport in Asian society.
Therefore, it is time to match those words spoken at the Suzuki Cup wins and YOG game and open the lock to Singapore Pools as only the PM has the key. (And by that, I quote the example of PM Goh era)
Or do not just show up when it is time to celebrate Suzuki Cup win and tell us one support the sport.
It is easy and I can do it myself so what the big deal.
PS. Last Words and that is take Zainduin away while one is at it.