Nine-time S-League winners Warriors FC charged with 107 counts of not paying salaries of players, staff

Wan Ting Koh
Warriors FC players and staff during their 2019 Singapore Cup campaign, in which they finished runners-up (PHOTO: Warriors FC/Facebook)
Warriors FC players and staff during their 2019 Singapore Cup campaign, in which they finished runners-up (PHOTO: Warriors FC/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Singapore Premier League (SPL) club Warriors Football Club was charged on Thursday (7 November) with 107 counts of failing to pay the monthly salaries of their staff and players in August, September and October this year.

The club, which has won the S-League (SPL’s previous name) a record nine times, is accused of breaching the Employment Act by not paying the salaries of some 36 staff and players – including sports trainers, coaches and executives.

Salaries amount to more than $358,000

The salaries range from $300 to $10,000 per month, and amount to a total of more than $358,000.

Some of the players include French striker Jonathan Behe, who has allegedly not been paid a salary of $10,000 on three occasions, and Muhammad Danial Borhanudin, who was not paid $300 on three occasions.

Other players that have allegedly not been paid include Singapore national-team players Khairul Nizam and Gabriel Quak, as well as Warriors first-team players Fairoz Hasan, Poh Yi Feng, Riki Kimura, Fukuda Kento and Fashah Iskandar.

Assistant head coach Mohamed Azlan Alipah has allegedly not been paid $3,500 on three occasions, while senior executive Suzanna Foo Wei Shan, who is in the club’s management, has also not been paid a salary of $3,245 on two occasions.

General manager removed in August

Yahoo News Singapore reported in August that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) instructed Warriors FC to remove its general manager and honorary secretary Paul Poh, after it had discovered serious and repeated lapses in its management.

Warriors FC has been unable to pay staff and players’ monthly CPF contributions since January this year. It has sparked a Ministry of Manpower investigation, and two subsequent bans on hiring foreign footballers.

When the club failed to adhere to the ban, the FAS decided to withhold the subsidies it granted to the club. It subsequently made the CPF payments directly to the staff and players. Since June, it has also undertaken the payment of salaries of the club’s Centre of Excellence (COE) staff.

Team still reached Singapore Cup final

Despite the financial woes, Warriors FC made it to the final of the 2019 Singapore Cup last week, but lost 3-4 to Tampines Rovers.

“It is regrettable that Warriors FC was unable to resolve their financial and administration issues which has now resulted with the club facing court charges,” the FAS said in a media statement.

“In the past months, the FAS has sought to assist the club in various ways so as 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 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.

“As the matter is now brought before the Court, we are unable to comment any further.”

Yahoo News Singapore has also reached out to Warriors FC for comment.

The club will return to court on 5 December. If convicted, Warriors FC faces a fine of up to $15,000 on each count.

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