Jermaine Pennant to leave Singapore after declining reduction on 'super-scale salary'

Jermaine Pennant
Jermaine Pennant's last spell in England came with Wigan Athletic in 2015

Jermaine Pennant is set to leave Singapore's Tampines Rovers after turning down a reduced offer on his "super-scale salary".

Club chairman Krishna Ramachandra said it would "create a social injustice" to carry on paying Pennant, 33, his reported £23,495-a-month salary while his team-mates took a pay cut.

The former Premier League winger joined the club in January on a one-year deal.

"He's a great player, but no player makes the team," said Ramachandra.

"He's had a huge impact on the club and Singapore football. Someone of his stature and frankly quite iconic status engenders an excitement and vibe which was much needed for Singapore football in the early stages of the season."

Pennant, who played 24 times for England Under-21s, said that without further investment in the game, even the signing of Barcelona's Lionel Messi would fail to grow the sport in the country.

"You could bring Messi here, yes, you'd attract fans, but without money, and the government and the league helping out like they do with other sports, or what they do in other countries, it's not going to grow," he told the Straits Times newspaper.

"If they don't do anything, football is always going to be in a comfort zone, not progressing."

Rovers have won the S-League five times, but finished second, one point behind Albirex Niigata, during Pennant's season with the club.

Ramachandra said former England Under-21 international Pennant, who has played for Arsenal, Birmingham, Liverpool and Stoke, had been an "immaculate professional".

"While the club could afford his wages, it would also send the wrong message to all the other players that one player is getting a super-scale salary while the others have to take a pay cut," he added.

"It would create a social injustice within the dressing room."

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