Bill Ng invites government agencies to view Tiong Bahru's books

Tiong Bahru FC and Hougang United chairman Bill Ng (Photo: Game Changers)

Tiong Bahru FC chairman Bill Ng is openly inviting government agencies to inspect his club’s accounting records.

This comes after a report from the Straits Times showed that the National Football League (NFL) club’s gross income for the financial year that ended March 2016 was $36.8 million.

It is an amount that eclipses the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) budget, which was $35.8 million over the same period.

However, Ng clarified in a statement on 20 April that “approximately 80 per cent to 85 per cent is returned to the player (RTP), or paid to winners who play the jackpot machines.”

He added, “Normally, after payouts and taxes, the club only has about 7 per cent of gross margins as surplus left for its operations costs. Tiong Bahru FC would like to offer its accounting records for inspection by SportSG or any government agency if necessary.

“Should SportSG or any other government agency like to view these records, please contact us and we will arrange for it to be carried out,” he said.

The statement is the latest twist in the ongoing saga.

The donation saga first came to light when Bill Ng, who is running for president in the FAS elections, revealed during his Team Game Changers’ press conference that he has donated about $850,000 to FAS after being approached by FAS general secretary Winston Lee.

At the heart of it is $500,000 donated by Tiong Bahru to FAS, which was then donated to the ASEAN Football Federation for a Football Management System that will benefit clubs around the region.

That prompted a series of statements sent out by both parties, which included Lee calling Ng’s accusations as “baseless and untrue”.  It also saw SportSG, the governing body of local sports, getting involved as well.

As of 20 April, FAS says it is seeking legal advice over the ongoing issue.

In another statement posted on Facebook by Game Changers on Wednesday (19 April), Ng, in an attempt to bring the focus of the election back to football itself, said that Singapore football has reached “ground zero”, before adding there is a “need to start afresh from here”.

“What has transpired and emerged over the last few days is a reflection of the occurrences and administration of football in Singapore in the last 10 or more years.

“The revelations over the last few days has to be a ‘time to clear the air’ moment for football in Singapore. The public and football fraternity needs to know the previous environment of administration.

“It is nothing but an unhealthy environment and needs to be cleared,” Ng said.