Tiong Bahru FC clubhouse re-opens but situation on Woodlands and Hougang remains unclear
Tiong Bahru Football Club's (TBFC) clubhouse at the People's Park Centre has been closed for three weeks but, at 10am yesterday, the National Football League side resumed their jackpot operations.
TBFC were one of three local football clubs to close on April 20, along with Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington.
All three clubs are linked to businessman Bill Ng, who is under investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for the alleged misuse of TBFC funds as well as a purported attempt by a senior club official to obstruct the completion of audits of S.League's sit-out clubs.
The New Paper understands that the CAD did not order a closure of the clubs, but it was a situation that arose out of the requirement of the authorities to extract data from each of the clubs' jackpot machines.
Industry insiders reveal that the 29 jackpot machines in TBFC's premises would have had to be manually reset by its providers before the resumption of business, a move that has already been completed.
It is unclear if the manual reset has been completed for the Woodlands clubhouse, but a visit to its Prinsep Street premises on Thursday uncovered that Woodlands are not yet ready to resume operations, with staff revealing that business should resume at the end of the month.
Hougang's clubhouse, located at the Hougang Stadium, had its shutters half closed on Thursday, with officials revealing that they "have no idea when the clubhouse will open".
The New Paper understands that TBFC have had their member database erased after the CAD's raid, which saw computers, files and boxes of documents carted into a police van.
Members were required to furnish their details to the club when they returned to the machines yesterday. It is not clear what TBFC's re-opening means in the larger scheme of things, especially with police investigations still ongoing.
The police said in an earlier statement they will conduct "a thorough investigation and will take appropriate action against any persons who have committed offences", but they declined to answer TNP's queries on the current situation.
The raids on the three clubs took place after national sports agency Sport Singapore made a police report on April 19.
The report and subsequent raids came just over a week before the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election on April 29, when Ng and his Game Changers team ran for office.
Ng, who is chairman of both TBFC and Hougang, had earlier been cleared to run by the FAS' Electoral Committee and did eventually stand at the polls.
But, he saw his team beaten by Lim Kia Tong's Team LKT by a 30-13 margin.