BY IAN DE COTTA
Tampines Rovers has big plans to liven up the S League with money and stars. The Stags have signed on English footballer and journeyman Jermaine Pennant, hoping the accompanying stardust will sprinkle good fortune over the league.
THE MEDIA SCRUM arrived after 12 days of buzz over former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant’s trial and eventual signing with Tampines Rovers. Interest had reached fever pitch at the press conference at Komoco Motors showroom yesterday.
The 33-year-old Englishman is the biggest star to turn out for an S-League club, but for Tampines’ Chairman Krishna Ramachandran the story is incidental. To him, Pennant is the icing on the cake on what his new management team has achieved since he took over The Stags’ chairmanship in November.
Ahead of the S-League kick off next month, the club had bagged a clutch of sponsors who will be pumping in cash; quite a feat for any club in the S-League to muster on the back of dwindling attendances since the start of the last decade, and which has worsened in the last five years.
He did not reveal the amount the club has snagged, but the monthly wage bill of the playing staff of the first 11 is estimated to be at least $100,000 with reports suggesting Pennant will receive 40% of the share.
Despite the huge item on the balance sheet, the Tampines Rovers chairman is confident the colour of the club’s bottom line at the end of the season will be black.
Krishna has big shoes to fill at the storied club. He took over the reins from Teo Hock Seng, who guided Tampines to five S-League titles, three Singapore Cups and an Asean Club Championship after 15 years at the helm.
Flanked by Pennant and coach V Sundramoorthy, Krishna told SIX-SIX.COM it is not all about silverware at this stage of the club’s reformation.
This story first appeared in Six-six.com. Read the full report here: Tampines Rovers Hopes For Pennants From Pennant