FAS ‘deliberate’ leaks on resign letter anger Tampines Rovers
SINGAPORE’S No 1 football club Tampines Rovers is reeling in shock that flamboyant chairman Krishna Ramachandra will step down “in the coming weeks”.
More impassioned smoke is coming from the five-time S-League champion that the boss’s restricted note to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) big-wigs was probably leaked out to the media, which has reportedly made the 46-year-old lawyer see red.
Close family members and friends say that Krishna wrote to FAS Chairman Lim Kia Tong and Deputy President Bernard Tan with a copy to SportSingapore Chief Executive Officer Lim Teck Yin earlier this week. But the private script is believed to have been deliberately circulated, in an apparent move to embarrass him.
Krishna declined to comment on the matter but close friends said he is “very disappointed and disgruntled that an internal note had been revealed”.
A S-League club vice-chairman, who asked not to be named, says: “It looks like he was sold down the river, a double-cross by the FAS leadership to smear Krishna. This is not honourable or humane to do.”
Krishna’s contentious relation with newcomer FAS Vice President Teo Hock Seng, the former Tampines Rovers president, also surfaced because there was reportedly bad blood after he took over the club in November 2015.
“The FAS top management has done this in very bad taste. They appear to have revealed the information to make Krishna look like a scapegoat. Such confidential notes must remain confidential,” said another FAS club official, who declined to be named.
Krishna is a top-ranked lawyer, who is Managing Director of Duane Morris & Selvam LLP in Singapore and of Selvam & Partners LLC in Myanmar. He is head of the Corporate Finance and Investment and Private Client Practice Groups.
He was not available for comment but in a media statement, he said the demands of his work meant he could no longer fulfill his role “at the level of intensity that is needed”.
“I intend to step down as chairman of TRFC in the coming weeks, in any event no earlier than after TRFC’s 2016 accounts have been audited and finalised. I will be dealing with all outstanding queries relating to TRFC’s statement of accounts before stepping down,” said Krishna, who was part of the Game Changers team which lost in the FAS election in April.
He will, however, remain as a committee member and help guide the new chairman. It is believed the club has proposed a candidate to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and is awaiting confirmation.
The outgoing chairman said he has loaned the club over $1 million and said the club is in a sound financial situation for now.
He said: “I have absolutely no regrets on the footballing experience I have had in the last six over years and I will certainly continue supporting Singapore football.”
UNHAPPY TAMPINES MOOD
The mood at Tampines Rovers, who are second in the S-League behind champion Albirex Niigata with 24 points from 11 matches, was one of dejection and despondency. Team officials and players shook their heads disappointed.
General Manager Desmund Khusnin said: “I’m very sad to see him resign but I’m glad he is still in the committee. I know first-hand he really cares for players and staff. His efforts and creative ways of raising the profile of the club and football in general should be applauded. I do hope he carry on contributing to Singapore football with his energy and out-of-box ideas.”
Award-winning SNOC ‘Coach of the Year 1981’ Jita Singh, who is overseeing youth development at Tampines, described Krishna as “brash, young and charismatic”.
He explains: “He’s got his own unique style of management like Nadesan Ganesan (former FAS Chairman of the mid-1970s). It was a learning experience for me, too, to adapt to his ways but he’s got a very big heart for the club and whatever he does, he means well, without being vindictive.”
Tampines Under-17 head coach P. Sugunan adds: “He’s an energetic chairman who loves football and enjoys the game very much. A football-thinking man I admire and look up too. He had plenty of dreams for Tampines and Singapore and it’s sad it has come to this crunch.”
DEMANDS OF LEGAL WORK
Corporate lawyer and former S-League Geylang International Vice-President Lau Kok Keng pointed to the “demands of legal work against the pressures of a top club chairman”. He says: “Based on the reason given by Krishna – that the demands of his work meant he could no longer fulfil his role as Chairman – I’m not at all surprised by his decision to step down.
“It can’t be easy helming a club with an illustrious history like Tampines Rovers. Even a seasoned official like Teo Hock Seng gave up the club’s chairmanship due to age and poor health (as reported), but still had enough in his tank to run for and serve in the FAS Council after leaving the club. That says something about the commitment to time and effort that is required to manage Tampines Rovers.
“Krishna is also first and foremost a practising lawyer, and managing a successful law firm in an increasingly highly competitive legal landscape here is no mean task. Time is a finite quantity, and he is entitled to decide which community projects his time is best spent on, having regard to the output that is produced, the environment within which he has to function, and the value his efforts can add and the material difference he can make to the project. That goes for every other volunteer official as well, including Krishna’s successor at Tampines Rovers.”
The coming weeks will decide the respective fallouts of Krishna’s unexpected exit. Back of his mind will surely be painful memories to how confidential notes to FAS President Lim Kia Tong were unsportingly exposed.
It’s just not fair play!……
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