FAS: We can provide documentary evidence
Football body: Ng was aware $500,000 donation from Tiong Bahru redirected to AFF
The hotly discussed topic on Thursday night was the $500,000 that went from the coffers of Tiong Bahru FC (TBFC) to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) in 2014.
Bill Ng's Game Changers presented their manifesto for the FAS election on April 29 at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, but that donation from Ng's club stole the show, with questions raised about where the funds of a hugely profitable amateur club were channelled to, and why they did not make moves to invest in local football or join the professional S.League.
The FAS revealed yesterday that Ng was well aware that TBFC monies were being redirected from the FAS to the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) Football Management System.
Its spokesman moved to offer documentary evidence to prove the point.
"We are transparent in our processes and dealings with our stakeholders, and we are prepared to share the documents relating to this subject with the relevant parties," he said.
"We will not condone any attempt to cast a doubt on the integrity of the Association, and we reserve all our rights in this regard."
Ng asserted that he had made several requests from "2007 to 2008" to the FAS for Tiong Bahru to join the S.League after their jackpot operations had become profitable, but was directed to have the club stay in the amateur National Football League (NFL). It is a fact disputed by the FAS.
"To the best of our understanding, we did not receive any official proposal from TBFC to join the S.League during this period. Anyone who wishes to field a team in the professional S.League has to submit a formal proposal which includes their management, technical and financial capabilities, among other key criteria," said the FAS spokesman.
Several questions were raised about why an amateur club in Singapore would donate a hefty $500,000 to a regional organisation for an AFF Football Management System that remains largely unfamiliar to the Asean football community, but the AFF moved to shed light in the matter.
In response to queries from The New Paper, the AFF revealed that while its system has yet to be launched, it is grateful to the FAS and the NFL side for the support shown.
"The AFF Football Management System is an initiative aimed at enhancing the capabilities of football associations and clubs which will then better position them to achieve success in key result areas including but not limited to income generations, information technology, corporate governance, and facilities utilisation, among others," said the statement.
"We are thankful to our donors and partners who have come on board to support this new programme, including one of the FAS' NFL clubs who donated $500,000 towards the system."
The AFF declined to reveal its other donors which TNP understands is a standing policy of the regional body.
"The sharing of resources among football associations in this region will strengthen ongoing efforts aimed at raising the standards of football management in South-east Asia," continued the statement.
"We are in the last phase of the preparations and we expect to launch the system within the next nine to 12 months."