Wednesday, October 5, 2016

$4 millions wasted for Tong election campaign

Saw the TODAY story on Football Association of Singapore (FAS) pumping $4 millions into youth football but instead of rejoicing, once I saw where it is going, I knew it will be wasted as the problems are not just at the under-23 level but the entire system.

So what is the use of spending all that only on under-23 and neglecting the rest!

It is clear as daylight it is meant for campaign purposes with FAS vice-president Edwin Tong an unpopular candidate for FAS president due to his association with the current incumbent, the even more unpopular, Zainudin Nordin.

Thus just days after the FAS AGM revealed high wages for a few FAS personals (Want to guess who) as well as the high amount of money that been blown elsewhere for no benefit to Singapore football like the now defunct LionsXII project, we see him heading a project now aiming for the Olympics.

Is this what Singapore football need?

The answer is no for what Singapore football need now is to kick-start the now-forgotten National Training Centre (NTC) if he really care about the state of Singapore football.

After all as an example even England - since most Singaporeans followed only the English game - have finally finished building their own St Geogre's Park National Training Centre, after over a decade delay, as they admitted they need it more than ever with European Eilties like Germany, France and Spain having such centres and benefiting from it.

Yet it is not what Edwin Tong need as he need headlines that he can achieve right away to kick-start his own election bid for the FAS post; now postponed to next year.

That is why I am sure he must given a big salary increase to Fandi  Ahmad to turn down Pahang and all that money for the SEA GAMES, Asian GAMES and the Olympics until 2021.

Let be brutally honest, building a NTC is expensive and in Singapore, where the government is unlikely to fully fund it, FAS will have to come out with a majority of the cash so we need to ask ourselves if we are  really serious about building it.

Because looked at the way we are spending!

The LIONSXII project had cost over a eight-figures sum in total in 4 years and ballooning at an average rate of $700k yearly with the final year budgeting at $4 millions and ticket revenues (Includes national teams games) revealed recently show we were only covering less than half of that money spend yearly.

That is why in recently years I have questioned why youth development are disappearing under the name of "revamp" at the same time as LIONSXII appearance.

Did FAS transfer cash there and have it helped Singapore football as the LIONSXII was packaged as "youth development". (Despite the laughable part that most players on the field were always in the mid 20s to late 20s)

The national team showcased it is not so as our national team is ageing and are now manned by core players who are either in their late 20s or early 30s with no new players in sight.

All this under the eyes of Edwin Tong, who has been vice-president since 2013, so to tell me he now care about youth development when he was part of the team tearing it down in recent years until LIONSXII expulsion by Malaysia is a joke as far as I am concerned.

Indeed the new project is just an example of his own self-interest being put ahead of Singapore needs as I can predict they spend it on mostly headgrabbing headlines of overseas trip either for the squad or a few individuals that helped nobody.

The 2015 SEA GAMES blueprint already tell us such trips did us no favour as we were destroyed by our regional rivals. (who had mostly send their second teams)

So the $4 millions is already going down the toilet and Edwin Tong need to assess if such a project is really in the interest of Singapore football at this moment in time.