By Khalis Rifhan
The local football fraternity was in a state of disbelief as former Woodlands Wellington coach R.Balasubramaniam was sentenced to a year behind bars on April 5 for misappropriating over $167,000 from his father-in-law.
The offence was committed for a period of four years starting from 2007 to 2011 with te former Woodlands Wellingto head coach transferring money from a joint account of his father-in-law Jaybalen Karsenathan and wife Nirmala Jaybalen and pocketing the rental income of a house belonging to the former.
But while Bala is doing time for his offence, there might be another case coming up against him soon.
His former employers in the S.League revealed to Goal.com Singapore that the 39-year old has outstanding loan payments to the club that has yet to be settled despite reminders in the past.
“We knew about it (the case) even before it was first published in the media as we were trying to get back some loan that he took from us for his AFC Pro-Diploma course,” said Matthew Tay, Woodlands manager.
“That is when we sent a letter of demand to his house and his father-in-law called our office and told me what had happened then, as you all have read in the newspapers now.
“At that point of time we have heard of the case but we could not comment on it yet.”
While Tay stopped short of revealing the amount that Bala owes the club, he said that the club will still pursue the payment in due course.
“As for the amount, we are not able to disclose it but it is a five-figure sum,” he revealed.
“But I believed we will still try to get our money back from him as it’s a legal loan and there are documents and contract signed for this.”
A longtime friend of Bala and current Geylang International coach V.Kannan is still digesting the news as he could not believe such a thing could occur to someone he had known for more than a decade.
“I was very shocked when I read the news," said Kanan.
"I know him very well and we attended several coaching course together. For him to do such thing, I was really taken aback.
“I had met him two weeks ago and it was a normal chat and he had asked me about my injury. I've known him for about 15 years and I did not expect this to happen to him.”