SINGAPORE: In an unusual move, S.League club Geylang International has been searching online to recruit players.
The club posted a listing on JobsBank on Sunday (Feb 11), looking for a football player who had “at least four years of experience playing professional football in the midfield or defensive position”.
The listing, which required candidates to pass medical tests and attend daily training sessions, apparently attracted just one application before being taken down on Tuesday.
While the listing did not name the football club, it advertised that the club was participating in the S.League and its work location as Bedok.
An official at Bedok Stadium-based Geylang International, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed that the club had posted the advertisement.
“This is mainly for foreign players,” he told Channel NewsAsia, adding that club had identified two foreign players it wished to sign. “We are trying to upgrade them to an E (Employment) Pass.”
According to the official, foreign players who play in the S.League usually do so with an S Pass, which is for mid-level skilled staff who earn at least S$2,200 a month.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also requires employers who hire S Pass holders to pay a foreign worker levy. This levy can go up to S$650 a month, depending on the percentage of S Pass holders in a company’s total workforce.
An E Pass, on the other hand, does not require the payment of a levy. It is usually for foreign professionals, managers and executives, requiring candidates to earn at least S$3,600 a month and hold acceptable academic qualifications. Factors like “proven track records and exceptional skill sets” will be considered on a case-by-case basis, MOM said on its website.
On top of that, companies that wish to submit E Pass applications must first advertise the job vacancies on JobsBank as part of the Fair Consideration Framework, which “sets out clear expectations for companies to consider Singaporeans fairly for job opportunities”.
The advertisement must also be open to Singaporeans and run for at least two weeks, MOM added. Geylang’s listing was supposed to expire on Feb 25, which is 14 days after it was posted.
Geylang International honorary treasurer Lim Yiak Tiam told Channel NewsAsia that the listing was taken down after the club decided that the foreign players it was going to sign would “probably only qualify for an S Pass”.
“The posting was put up before we concluded (about) any players,” he said. “We’ve taken that down because the players that we have finally decided to take – there’s no requirement for a job posting.”
The official stated that the club would have considered all foreign player applications that came in on JobsBank.
“We can ask them to come and trial,” he said. “Of course, whoever applies, you must do due diligence and (put them) through an interview. That’s the purpose of advertising.”
Mr Lim added that local players who applied through the listing would also have been equally considered.
“Obviously, they’ll be considered based on their ability, how much they are asking for and their experience,” he noted.
In 2015, S.League side Balestier Khalsa advertised on JobsBank to attract younger players who did not know how to go about being a professional footballer.