By: B Goode
In a country where to be in government, one is expected to write the word `sustainability’ in 100 different languages on a parchment made from the underbelly of a virgin white horse that grazed on the shoots of the freshest ivy that had been kissed by the chill morning breeze on a crystal mountain, and to burn it in a fire from the most fragrant Indian sandalwood, dissolve the ashes in 1819 Cordon Bleau before drinking it, it is almost shocking that the government is still wasting money on football.
If the purpose of pouring money into football is to make the game a community sport to be played by schoolchildren during their PE classes then it’s understandable.
But if it is a government campaign to show that they care for the plebs, or for some politicians to show off their horrible skills for a photo-op in front of disbelieving spectators just to say:
Hey guys! Look! I am just a poor an ordinary man like all of you. I can kick a ball too! You should do too except in void decks, or the manicured public lawns, or the parks, or the school field cos we’re not sure if the goalpost will kill you, or …hey let’s just do it in the stadiums. It’s not expensive to rent. Only a few thousands for a few hours. What say you?
….don’t waste my time.
What the government is trying to do I suspect is to re-visit the glory days of Singapore football in the seventies and early eighties when football was used as a rallying point for a young nation hungry for some pride and recognition. And also for a nation that had nothing much to do in terms of entertainment.
All this while the local football kingpins are pulling wool over the government’s and our eyes by hyping up and marketing a dying sport whilst simultaneously eyeing the moneypot that beckons them. If you kept saying and shouting that something might work, some idiots would believe you although the facts would show otherwise.
All is starting to unravel now. And the cries from those with the most to lose are getting louder by each passing day. Woe me!
If you fell into a barrel of boobs, would you come out sucking your thumb?
It has been a few decades, yes decades since Singapore was kicked out of the Malaysia Cup and ever since then, the government has tried to resuscitate and rejuvenate the sport. Millions of dollars were pumped into trying to achieve the impossible of turning Singapore into a football powerhouse. That does not include the millions given out by Singapore Pools, and the gambling licenses issued to the football clubs from which millions more were milked from the jackpot machines.
I remember the days when you could see children carrying soccer balls in their hands to school or to the open fields. Now you don’t see that anymore. The new generation is simply not interested in football.
The stadiums are empty save for a few bookies and runners. The S-league is in a meltdown. The national team is in a shamble. Our best players are plying their trade somewhere else. Singaporeans would rather watch the EPL than Woodlands Vs Geylang.
So the question is: what happened to all the millions?
The answer is right there. The millions. Those involved in local football have gotten so blindsided by the easy money that they have forgotten the real objective and that is to promote football.
This is akin to someone forming a Church knowing that by doing so they can milk the donations and grants from the believers.
Church : Give us money and we will give you heaven.
Football Clubs : Give us money and we will give you entertaining football.
Us : Give us proof!
So I say; remove the financial crutches and do a reboot. The government should only provide assistance to make football as a sport for the masses and nothing more. And to stop being fooled by the circling sharks that the glory days of the 70’s could be replicated.