S.League CEO to step down in March
Lim Chin, the chief executive officer of the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League, will step down from his post in March.
The 54-year-old has been leading the S.League since 2012.
Lim's contract expired on Dec 31, and while The Straits Times reported five days ago that he would be given a one-year extension, the FAS issued a press statement on Tuesday to announce that the former Chief of Artillery will be in charge until March 31, after the S.League's scheduled February kick-off to the 2017 season.
Following Lim's departure, Kok Wai Leong, S.League director of operations, will oversee the operations of the league, FAS said in the statement.
Tasked with reviving public interest in the local professional league, Lim introduced the Marquee Player scheme, but the plan ultimately proved unsuccessful.
He was hands-on when it came to promoting the S.League, once even strutting down Orchard Road topless, with bodypaint, to promote the 2013 S.League season.
But he has also endured vocal criticism from football fans, particularly on social media, who feel not enough has been done for the S.League.
An age-cap rule limiting players above the age of 30, proposed ahead of the 2015 season, was roundly criticised. It was eventually not implemented.
In the statement, Lim said: "After helming the S.League for the past five years, I have decided that it is the right time for me to pursue other interests and opportunities.
He added: "It has been an exhilarating ride season after season and I would like to sincerely thank all the club chairmen and general managers, as well as the club staff, coaches and players for their great support.
"I have enjoyed working with the FAS council and my dedicated colleagues at the S.League. I will definitely continue to support Singapore football and hope all stakeholders will do the same as well.
"I wish all the clubs the very best for the coming season."
In the same statement, Lim Kia Tong, the president of the provisional council, said: "Both parties have been in discussions for some time and while we are disappointed to lose a diligent servant of the game like Mr Lim Chin, we understand his decision to pursue other opportunities. We would like to thank him for his contributions to the S.League and we wish him all the best for the future.
"We have requested that Mr Lim continue in his role until March 31, 2017 to oversee the kick-off of the new league season and he has agreed to do so. The FAS Provisional Council will continue to work with our stakeholders and staff to further enhance the quality of our professional league as well as other aspects of Singapore Football."