SINGAPORE: A local football club was charged on Thursday (Nov 7) with 107 counts of not paying more than 30 of its employees their salaries.
Warriors Football Club, a professional club playing in the top-tier Singapore Premier League, is accused of failing to pay more than S$350,000 in salaries to about 30 employees, including players, sports trainers and support staff.
According to charge sheets, the club failed to make the payments on Aug 8, Sep 8 and Oct 8 this year.
The amounts allegedly owed to employees range from S$300, to a Muhammad Danial Borhanudin, and S$10,000 to Jonathan Henri Desire William Behe, a French footballer who is a striker for Warriors FC.
A representative for the club will have to return to court on Dec 5 for a further mention of the case.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had said in a statement on Jul 10 this year that it was "gravely concerned" with the manner in which Warriors FC administered its financial subsidies.
At the time, FAS said it had been making payments of the club staff and players' monthly CPF contributions directly to the CPF Board since March 2019, pending a "satisfactory resolution of the concerns raised".
These amounts were from the monthly subsidies due to the club.
FAS added in a more recent statement on Aug 30 that it had directed the club to remove its general manager and honorary secretary, Paul Poh Por Chuan from both his appointments with immediate effect.
"This direction arises from the FAS’s discovery of serious and repeated lapses which Warriors FC have failed to take steps to rectify, and also having regard to the best interests of the players and staff at Warriors FC," said FAS.
According to that statement, FAS said the club had been unable to pay its staff and players' monthly CPF contributions since January this year.
The penalty for failing to pay an employee's salary is a fine of between S$3,000 and S$15,000.
In response to CNA's queries, the FAS said in its statement on Thursday that "it is regrettable that Warriors FC was unable to resolve their financial and administration issues".
It added that in the past months, the association has "sought to assist the club in various ways" in order to minimise disruption to the players as well as the staff.
"From the available subsidies, we have been making the required CPF payments for the players and the staff directly to the CPF Board since March 2019, undertaken the payment of the salaries of the club’s Centre of Excellence (COE) staff directly since June 2019 and assisted with the club’s field bookings so that the club is able to focus on preparing for their games in the 2019 league and cup competitions," the statement added.
FAS added that as the matter has now been brought before the Court, it was "unable to comment any further".