KRISHNA Ramachandra is at the top end in whatever he does. He drives a Ferarri, the mating of a high-end piece of motoring technology with sleek and beautiful lines of design.

Likewise for this leading corporate lawyer in football as Chairman of five-times S-League champion Tampines Rovers, he declares he is a big-hearted football fan with the biggest dream for Singapore football.

He thinks passionately about football just like legendary Brazilian striker Pele, who advocates the “bola” game as “Jogo Bonito”, which in Portuguese means “The Beautiful Game”.

Krishna believes he’s driven and focused, and as someone who likes to enjoy the frills every now and then, he’s prepared for even higher challenges. Now set to contest the post of Vice President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) under Team “Game Changers” with Bill Ng as the pole driver.

But as he prepares for the April 29 FAS elections, as a sportsman, he has appealed for a “fair and square contest” wherein the eventual winner must be football and the contestants working towards to an united tomorrow.

“In this upcoming elections, we must show that football must be the winner. There’s no place for egoism or personal vendatta, absolutely no animosity,” he says. “Team Lim Kia Tong (LKT) and the ‘Game Changers’ must transcend the past difficulties, the historical differences and ensure that Made-in-Singapore football rises to its rightful place as the potent force that galvanises Singaporeans as truly one people. This is my dream and I vow to be guided by this philosophy in whatever I do.”

Krishna’s corporate lawyer status holds him high in the legal industry. He is Managing Director of Duane Morris & Selvam LLP in Singapore and of Duane Morris & Selvam (Myanmar). He is Head of the Corporate Finance and Investment and Private Client Groups. Krishna focuses on M&A, capital markets, private equity, investment funds, sports law and TMT. And he plays an active role in the Law Society of Singapore and Singapore Institute of Directors.

From a football perspective, his heart is 100 per cent football and he rules with passion and compassion, be it with players, officials, supporters and even referees. His damage-control skills with the referees were exemplary as he showed in last season’s pre-season “ref kayu” incident, wherein he “unreservedly and unconditionally” apologised to the referees, who today, hold him in the highest regard. Amazingly, he even confessed he wanted to be a referee once-upon-a-teenage time!


Ask anyone at Jurong West Stadium (home of Tampines Rovers), from the top club management to the club officials, players and anyone in the grassroots. They instantly salute Krishna as a special footballing figure, who never pulls ranks and appreciates the joint effort of everyone, who put in their “blood, sweat and tears” to make Tampines the No 1 S-League club.

“My primary goal as club chairman is to support Singapore football and bring back the passion and belief that, in my opinion, have been lost in recent years,” says Krishna. “Over the next five years, I want to focus on two main areas to bring back the lost glory to local football: Youth development and helping the current crop of National Football Academy and national team players to aspire and strive for greater things.”

From a football-fanatic family of three teenagers, Krishna believes in an “inclusive football culture” to take Singapore football a positive step forward, so that younger Singaporeans can further enjoy football, the world’s No 1 sport.

That’s why he stands to be counted. He wants to be part of the positive-engaging formula of the “Game Changers”, under the iconic leadership of Bill Ng. Krishna says: “When you bring people who are within the football circle and those who are outside the circle, you get a fresh perspective of things.

“The fact that our team encompasses representatives of all races and women candidates is reflective that we’re sincere and genuine in achieving our longer-term goals.”


Family involvement in football, starting right from the grassroots, and going deep to the Housing Board heartlanders is closest to his heart and he’s a first-class family role-model.

He says:  “I would almost say, this is the most important stakeholder in Singapore football. It is the untied family unit. I speak from my own personal experience and once a family unit engages collectively in the sport, we have the proverbial 12th man spurring Singapore football on.

“We must never ever forget that football belongs to all of Singapore and it must never be jealously guarded at the expense of others. Embrace all as a family would.”

To push for this sporting culture, his eldest son, 14-year-old Rohin, is at the Singapore Sports School, ready to be fine-tuned to be a football professional. He has to date represented Singapore Under-15 at the Asean Football Festival. Rohin’s a naturally prolific striker and in one season in Primary Five, he scored 53 goals in 13 games. He’s even convinced that he’s going to play for Liverpool!

Krishna adds: “It’s because of supporting my kids’ interest and involvement with the sport that I got sucked into the whole world of football.”

The big changes he envisages in Singapore football? He smiles and replies: Wow, this is such a significant question and at first blush appears daunting. However, upon greater reflection, I know that the entire ecosystem could do with a hand, in any and all aspects.

“So any small step within any strata of the ecosystem would be a step forward. As a team, we have to make sure an effective division of labour will allow us to undertake a non-banal strategy overall.

“Excitement is needed. Innovation is needed. Passion is a given and all will flow on naturally so long as the leadership truly walks the talk. It is a complex process but it can eventually become simple. The first steps are bound to be important for us to engender the trust and confidence of the people. It is going to be a long steady journey so we much all exercise patience, steadfastness and stay committed till the end.”


First impression of Krishna and he’s a classic case of brain-and-brawn as an international corporate lawyer. He graduated with honours from Cambridge University on a twin scholarship, and is today recognised as a leading lawyer in three distinct areas of practice in multiple jurisdictions – Corporate Law, Capital Markets and Sports Law.

Many say this handsome corporate lawyer is the best breath of refreshing air that has smacked Singapore football since the 1970s era of the late Nadesan Ganesan.

He dares to be different. He’s ultra-passionate on football. His focus is just on bringing up the sport, from the grassroots. He’s just a down-to-earth footballing maniac.

He’s even a dare-devil in his personal and professional pursuits. He signed former Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant, making headlines across Asia and in Europe. Krishna last year organised the Pentagon Awards (supported by the Asian Football Confederation) to recognise men and women in South-east Asia who have contributed to the sport both on and off the pitch on top of sporting excellence, with the Johor Prince (now FAM President) as guest of honour.

He daringly worked hard to switch Tampines’ AFC Cup quarter-final home clash with Selangor from the 6,000-capacity Jalan Besar Stadium to the National Stadium and the match attracted around 15,000 fans.

He even signed Gerard Houllier as the club’s international ambassador. And he answered the national call when he made no fuss in allowing coach V Sundramoorthy to hold sway as Lions supremo earlier last year. Off the field, too, his high-end passion for fast cars is legendary as he was the Past President of the Ferrari Owners’ Club and relishes keeping a stable of exquisite four-wheelers.

This 46-year-old black-suited lawyer is in one long word:  Extraordinary.


 “My primary goal as club chairman is to support Singapore football and bring back the passion and belief that, in my opinion, have been lost in recent years,” says Krishna. “I joined Bill Ng because I believe in his football professionalism.”

Why “Game Changers” and Bill Ng?

He replies: “It was the very infectious sense of service and selflessness that the entire team displayed through my pre-joining interactions with them.

“The altruism flowing through their actions, care for one another and the greater fraternity was frankly, awe-inspiring. I just couldn’t say no. Important, almost as an unsaid team ethos, ego has absolutely no place in this team and we make sure none of us inadvertently allows it to surface.”

In ending, he passionately repeats his “biggest dream” for Singapore football: “It must transcend the past difficulties, the historical differences and rises to its rightful place as the potent force that galvanises the Singapore people as truly one people. This is my dream and I vow to be guided by this philosophy in whatever I do.”

You can place your last dollar on the family-football-friend gentleman Krishna Ramachandra.

Top of the class for almost everything: From his Ferarri to global legal work and now his passionate dream to be a FAS Vice President to bring a refreshing new joy to Singapore football.


  • ‘Game Changers’ is led by awe-inspiring businessman Bill Ng and the alternative team of 15 football-hearted personalities will be contesting the FAS elections on April 29 at the SportsHub.
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