Lim Kia Tong: Lee's future to be decided much later
New FAS chief coy on future of general secretary Winston Lee; new council will not rush into changes
There were congratulatory handshakes, broad smiles for photographs, even hugs exchanged at the Singapore Sports Hub's Black Box Auditorium on Saturday.
Lim Kia Tong's Team LKT trounced a Game Changers outfit led by Bill Ng at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election to earn the right to lead the sport for the next four years, garnering 30 votes to the Game Changers' 13 en route to securing a clean sweep of all 15 positions available.
But, as Lim and team smiled for cameras and took their seats to address the waiting media in a post-election press conference, with attentive staff from the FAS secretariat also seated in the auditorium, there was one conspicuous absentee - the association's top executive Winston Lee.
Lee was present during the election but left the premise before the post-election press conference.
When asked about the future of the FAS general secretary, Lim declined to discuss the employment of Lee who is effectively the chief executive of the local football governing body.
There is uncertainty as well over other senior positions in the organisation, but Lim and Co. assert that there will be changes to the approach with which the secretariat is run during their four-year term in office.
"We'll deal with each staff behind closed doors. We have to respect the terms of their employment contracts... we won't make any comment on his future and it is best left to be decided much, much later," said the 64-year-old Lim.
The uncertainty over the position of S.League chief executive officer - vacated by Lim Chin at the end of last month - was also not addressed by Lim's council.
The league is currently under the watch of S.League director of operations Kok Wai Leong.
While the new council is adamant that the domestic professional S.League needs to evolve, a decision on its leader will not be taken without consideration, with structural changes not off the table.
"I don't know if there's a need to take a look at the structure. You are assuming that there will be a CEO," said Lim, in response to queries on the vacant position.
FAS presidents in the past have worked with the general secretary in issues relating to the sport in general, with the sport's chief turning to the S.League CEO for matters relating to the league.
But Lim did not elaborate on the structural change that his team are considering.
Lim's deputy, Bernard Tan, however, spoke about the changes that will be implemented in the FAS secretariat, and the manner with which its staff functions.
"We need to have correct structure to achieve (those targets spelt out in the manifesto). (We) know that we need to have more clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) and organisational direction in order to achieve many of the goals and objectives," said Tan.
"So the folks in FAS can also look forward to a much more energising environment in which they are given clear directions, clear KPIs, perhaps new structures, new resources with which they can go about achieving the objectives."
But Lim asserted that time will be needed for changes to be implemented, and time will ultimately be the judge of his team.
"We want to set aside past differences, and work together for football in Singapore. But these are mere words," said Lim of the plans and declarations made by him and his team.
"Changes will not happen overnight...but history will be the ultimate judge (of our leadership)."