FAS election: Team LKT's key advantage is...
Ability to hit the ground running is Team LKT's key advantage, says Tan
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election has been dominated by talk of monies being channelled from local clubs to foreign entities and the processes that allowed for this to happen.
Ideas for progress have taken a backseat, but Team LKT's Bernard Tan, who will run as deputy president behind Lim Kia Tong, believes that the spirit with which football is managed is a critical point that his team would like to address - if they beat Bill Ng's Game Changers to win the mandate of the FAS' 44 affiliates in today's election.
Team LKT has raised 10 points in their manifesto for Singapore football, focusing firstly on a transparent FAS based on a platform of governance, communication and high administrative standards.
Facilities, human capital - players, coaches and administrators - sports science and technology, youth development, high-performance pathways, women's football, community football, competitions like the S.League and the performance of the various national teams were put forward as the other key factors of their plan.
But Tan told The New Paper yesterday that underlying all the points raised is spirit with which the task of raising the sport out of its current doldrums is vital to their plans.
"Team LKT's manifesto is built on a foundation of three crucial building blocks - integrity, inclusiveness and change," said Tan.
"In the light of recent events, integrity is even more important. It is extremely important that the FAS leadership restores the respect and confidence of all stakeholders in the sport," he added, pointing to players, officials, administrators, and even backers like sponsors.
"We have also promised to be more inclusive in approach and more consultative in decision making.
"We have shown in the provisional council that core members of Team LKT are willing to listen and where possible, respond to the pain points of the clubs. We will continue with this approach.
"Where Team LKT have a key advantage is that we can hit the ground running. We know the organisation and we know the ecosystem."
Speaking to TNP, former Geylang International chairman Patrick Ang does not disagree with the points raised.
He said: "The points they have raised are the same points that I would have (raised) if I were to put forward a team at the election.
"These are things that any team running for office must make sure that they can do.
"But I hope that any team that win make sure that they keep to the promises they have made and stick to them."
Tan moved to assert that Team LKT have already moved to show what they can do by raising sponsors for the amateur National Football League (NFL) as well as engaging the Singapore Land Authority and Housing Development Board to discuss freeing up space for the sport - a critical obstruction to the progress of the NFL as well as youth teams here.
"Lastly, we have promised real change to bring football to a better place with the 10-point plan we have laid out in the manifesto (see sidebar)," he said.
"Ideas and plans are at inception only worth the paper they are printed on.
"We can deliver on (critical issues) much quicker than a team that need years to learn the ropes and challenges."
The chief marketing officer of ST Engineering reiterated that if they do win the mandate of the FAS' 44 affiliates, Team LKT will implement their 30-day play to put in place various taskforces that will delve deeply into critical areas affecting football.
He pointed to governance, structure and organisation of the FAS, commercialisation, facilities, competitions, development and women's football as key areas that will have specific teams looking into their affairs.
"Most importantly, in what we say and do, we need to unite the sport. We want to be more united and stronger after this landmark election," he said.
Ang reiterated his stance that these should be the basics that any team who want to lead Singapore football need to have.
"These are bread and butter issues, and this is a given, isn't it?" he asked.
"Every team that come (into leadership) will need to have these basics to run Singapore football."
"They are focusing on what's happened in the last few weeks, but one has to look at the last eight to 10 years to see how football has got to this stage," added Ang.
"In any case, whichever team win, we have to rally behind them, support them.
"It will only be fair that we judge them after they have four years to put in place what they said they will."
TEAM LKT MANIFESTO: 10 KEY POINTS
1 Create a transparent FAS that has a high standard of administration.
2 Create more facilities to achieve the vision of a football-playing nation.
3 Enlarge and enhance the pool of coaches, referees, administrators and volunteers through consultative bodies and mentorship.
4 Harness sports science and technology to boost development, fitness and performance of players.
5 Collaborate with private and public academies to increase participation and make football fun for kids to learn. Work with more schools to include the sport as a CCA.
6 Increase the number of Centres of Excellence from three to a league of at least 15. The National Football Academy will also be reviewed.
7 Double the participation of girls playing football and to send a women's team to the SEA Games within five years.
8 Create a booking system for social teams to arrange matches with each other and look at setting up a social masters league.
9 Review the S.League while competitions will be expanded at all levels to meet national objectives.
10 Establish high performance targets for the various national teams over the next five to 10 years.
Team LKT's slate of nine
1 LIM KIA TONG (president)
- Lawyer, former FAS vice-president and deputy chairman of Fifa disciplinary committee
2 BERNARD TAN (deputy president)
- ST Engineering's chief marketing officer and former FAS vice-president
3 EDWIN TONG (vice-president)
- Lawyer, MP for Marine Parade GRC and former FAS vice-president
4 TEO HOCK SENG (vice-president)
- Komoco Motors group managing director, former FAS Council member and former Tampines Rovers chairman
5 S THAVANESON (vice-president)
- Balestier Khalsa chairman and former FAS council member
6 RAZALI SAAD (vice-president)
- Former national captain and former FAS council member
7 DR DINESH NAIR (council member)
- Chairman of FAS medical committee
8 FORREST LI (council member)
- Founder, Garena Singapore
9 DARWIN JALIL (council member)
- President, Eunos Crescent FC
INDIVIDUAL COUNCIL MEMBERS:
- Lim Tong Hai, Michael Foo, Kelvin Teo, Sharda Parvin, Rizal Rasudin, Yakob Hashim
1 EDWARD LIU (Chairman of Tanjong Pagar United)
2 JAMES LIM (Former deputy director of the People's Association)
3 SEBASTIAN TAN (Deputy director of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority)
4 KUMAR APPAVOO (Businessman, stood as a candidate for Radin Mas SMC at the 2015 General Election)