Ng: No issue with FAS' financial management
Financial history of Game Changers chief's clubs thrown into the spotlight
It was meant to be a platform to unveil a blueprint that could revolutionise Singapore football.
While big moves like listing the S.League on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) within five years were mooted, much of the attention at the Game Changers' press conference on Thursday evening was shifted towards the past.
Led by Bill Ng, the team are running for office at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election on April 29.
Instead of focusing on Ng's plans for the future, the financial history of two clubs under his watch - Hougang United and National Football League (NFL) side Tiong Bahru FC (TBFC) - were thrown into the spotlight.
Answering questions from the floor at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, Ng revealed that some $850,000 had been given to the FAS in donations.
Ng's call for journalists to ask FAS general secretary Winston Lee where the money went was answered by a strongly-worded response from the latter on the same night, saying that Ng fully knew where the donations were headed.
Ng insisted that he was not pointing the finger at FAS' processes.
"I am not accusing the FAS of improper financial management, I'm just stating that the surpluses of TBFC were donated to the FAS. And why should I ask where the money went to?" Ng told The New Paper, hours after the press conference ended on Thursday.
I’m not accusing the FAS of improper financial management...Game Changers’ Bill Ng
Ng asserted that on his part, protocol was adhered to.
"I'm not complicit in anything. As a club, we serve the FAS... they needed money, I met with the (club's) committee members and poured the money back into football," said Ng, who revealed that loans were also given to troubled S.League side Tanjong Pagar United.
"None of this is fabricated. Ahead of the S.League awards night last year, I presented a 108-page document of e-mails and attachments of all these donations to the FAS, and (FAS provisional president) Lim Kia Tong was there, too," said Ng.
In a statement released by the FAS at 12.18am yesterday morning, Lee said: "(Ng) invited the media to question FAS on what had happened to the money he had donated and claimed to have no knowledge of where the funds had gone after he donated it.
"This is a baseless and untrue accusation."
The statement continued to document that in 2014, Ng had supported the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) football management system with a $500,000 donation, of which none went to the FAS.
Lee also revealed that in 2012, Ng introduced a company to the FAS, with the company donating $200,000 to the FAS' LionsXII effort.
The LionsXII, who competed in Malaysian football competitions from 2012 to 2015, have been disbanded.
Ng also revealed that he was approached to help struggling clubs such as Woodlands Wellington and Gombak United.
When asked for clarification by TNP, Gombak chief John Yap disputed the claim.
"We did not approach Bill in 2010 to help Gombak turn our clubhouse operations around," said Yap.
"We did, however, on several occasions, buy coins from him for the clubhouse's daily operations of coin-based jackpot machines.
"Also, Bill did call me in May 2016 and assisted us in coordinating the storage of Gombak's jackpot machines, along with Woodlands."
This came after the jackpot operations of Woodlands and Gombak - both sit-out clubs of the S.League - were told by Sport Singapore to evict from their premises at Woodlands Stadium and Gombak Stadium respectively by the end of May last year.
Team LKT, a group led by Lim, will challenge Ng's Game Changers for the mandate of the Singapore football fraternity at the historic FAS election.
The team presented their manifesto two weeks ago.