Bill Ng: Singapore football 'must be modernised'
Hougang chairman says his election team are committed to modernising Singapore football
Accusations have been hurled against him and the team backing his bid for the presidency of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), but Bill Ng refuses to be dragged into the mire.
The Hougang United chairman has instead moved to hint at plans that his team have drawn up for Singapore football.
He said: "There has been chatter in the last week about the integrity and intention of my team and I.
"We can assure you that our sole intention is to modernise the Singapore game from grassroots up, as well as from the administration and leadership levels.
"Integrity needs to be inherent in the credentials of any person who chooses to undertake this monumental task, and I expect that of both parties running for these elections."
The FAS' first democratic election of its leadership will be held on April 29 and Ng said that his slate of nine - president, deputy president, four vice-presidents and three council members - will bring expertise to the table.
Six other council member positions will be contested on an individual basis.
He said: "My team, which will be revealed shortly in the coming week, consist of qualified senior professionals who have a record of leadership in sporting administration on both local and international levels, including commercial and sports science.
"They are highly qualified members in their fields and we will work with them to take our game into the modern era."
Despite the broad spectrum covered by the likes of former Singapore Hockey Federation president Annabel Pennefather and former Geylang International vice-president Lau Kok Keng, Ng insists that, in his team, there exists a common goal.
Said Ng: "My team are unified by a common belief. (Singapore football) must be modernised and politics must be removed. The focus must be on credentials and who can do better for our game.
"It cannot rely on one or two individuals in positions of power; our collective expertise led by a common guiding principle will lead our game on the right path."
He has, in an earlier interview, told The New Paper that his club now run on a healthy profit and can operate without the $800,000 in subsidies from the Tote Board.
He also said that Hougang can function without his presence, because of structures that have been put in place.
While he declined to elaborate, it is believed that Ng's delegation plan will also be implemented at the FAS should he assume office.
POOR FACILITIES, LOW WAGES
He moved instead to outline broad plans for the sport here.
"Our position is to modernise the Singapore game with our collective abilities and shared passion to bring back the Kallang Roar. Our way is transparent and accountable," he said.
"It focuses on the athlete with administrative help, rather than letting politics get in the way. It nurtures talent and gives talent a platform on which to succeed from a young age. It takes care of talents' minds and bodies - we are modern football."
Ng went on to offer some examples.
"No longer will an Under-14, U-16 or U-18 youngster hoping to get promoted to the upper ranks of Singapore football need to fear a tree root in the middle of the pitch, or an unsubstantial living to be made if he or she pursues football as his or her chosen profession," said Ng, briefly addressing longstanding issues of poor facilities and low wages in the sport here.
"Our way is to revitalise our game by building a culture of football from the primary school level up. (We plan to do this through) implementing proper coaching, scouting, sports science and psychology, commercial and administrative techniques," said Ng.
"Our action plan incorporates firm milestones to revitalise our game and I'm proud to say that my team have the credentials in both the local and international sporting arena to perform the task."