I refer to the article ‘How did Tiong Bahru FC get so much money?‘ (Sunday Times, Apr 23).

It states that “In documents obtained by The Sunday Times, the club’s annual revenue for the year ending March 31 last year was $36.8 million, more than the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) budget of $35.8 million in the same period. Around $31 million was paid back in jackpot winnings and taxes.

Its income was around $5 million.”

Is it arguably “fair” reporting, when it does not say anything about the FAS’s income?

According to the FAS’s annual report for the year ended 31 March 2016, it had Revenue and Income of $35.8 million.

Compare this to TBFC’s income of “around $5 million” (note: I do not have access to TBFC’s annual financial statements) – does it mean that the FAS’s income was about seven times TBFC’s ($35.8 divided by $5 million)?

In this connection, for the purpose of making a point of reference – the Tote Board’s annual financial statements report income from betting and gaming activities net of the payouts to punters.

As to “With a surplus of $698,804, this means the club, which does not pay its players salaries, spent more than $4.3 million” – in contrast, the FAS Group had an operating deficit of $6,173 (spent more than $35.8 million).

So, does it mean that the FAS Group spent more than eight times more than TBFC ($35.8 divided by $4.3 million)?

So, does it arguably mean that TBFC may be more prudent and efficient, as it had an operating surplus against the FAS Group’s operating deficit?

With regard to “In comparison, a typical S-League club, a professional outfit with salaried players and a clubhouse, operates on a budget of around $2 million a year” – this may arguably be not a very fair comment or comparison, as I understand that the typical S-Leaque club may not have a jackpots’ operation as large as TBFC’s 29 jackpot machines.

In respect of “A large chunk of its income is spent on employee compensation. Last year, it spent $2.07 million on its staff, including $527,877 on “staff training, uniforms and welfare”. About $1.37 million went into salaries and bonuses” – in comparison, the FAS Group had salaries and related costs of $8.9 million, which is more than four times TBFC’s.

What may perhaps be noteworthy, is that the FAS Group’s annual remuneration of the top 3 executives was one each in the salary range $400.001 to $500,000, $300,001 to $400,000 and $200,001 to $300,000, respectively.

Does the TBFC’s top 3 executives earn arguably, so much too?

“Another $108,229 went to “gifts and sponsorships”, while “entertainment and refreshment” took up $105,166.

Its clubhouse takes up two adjacent units with an area of 3,735.08 sq ft. It pays $958,955 in rental a year, which means monthly rent comes up to about $21.40 per sq ft (psf).”

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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