FAS calls Hougang United chairman’s claims about donations ‘baseless and untrue’

Nigel Chin
Reporter
Winston Lee (third from left) has been the FAS secretary general since 2008. Photo: FAS

Hougang United chairman Bill Ng revealed that he donated about S$850,000 to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) but did not know what happened to the money.

The businessman who is running for president in the upcoming FAS elections said this at Team Game Changers’ press conference on Thursday (13 April) at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, where they unveiled their manifesto.

According to Ng, he made donations to the association over the last five to six years through the clubs he controlled after he was approached by FAS general secretary Winston Lee sometime during 2011.

Ng is involved with S.League club Hougang United and amateur National Football League (NFL) club Tiong Bahru.

Ng said, “There was a title sponsor who wanted to come in to support Hougang, but then the FAS asked us if we could help them out financially as that was the period of the LionsXII (playing in the Malaysian Super League) and they needed a bigger budget to run the project.

“We went back and spoke to our sponsors, and they were fine with us using their funds to support the LionsXII in the form of a donation,” Ng said.

Ng added that he agreed to help out the FAS because “all of us love football and we wanted to help in any way we can”.

He also alleged that the previous FAS council did not know about the donations. When asked if he knew what happened to the sum of money, Ng replied, “That is the big question, I’m not in FAS. The best answer is to call Winston Lee.”

Ng said he had been keeping the matter a secret for a long time, and only finally agreed to speak out after his Game Changers members implored him to do so.

However, Ng said that he would not be pursuing the matter given that the money was made in the form of donations.

FAS: ‘Baseless and untrue’ accusation
In a statement sent out by FAS at about midnight on Friday, Lee said Ng’s accusation is a “baseless and untrue” one.

In the statement attributed to Lee, FAS had approached various sponsors and donors to support the LionsXII project in 2012 when Ng came on board by introducing a company that donated $200,000.
Lee added that in 2014, FAS spoke to Ng on the subject of supporting the ASEAN Football Federation’s (AFF) Football Management System, and Ng supported the project with a donation of $500,000 to AFF through FAS. Ng also supported the FAS with $15,000 through other events.

“He had full knowledge of what the donation was for, and that none of it came to the FAS. To reiterate, Mr Ng knew that the money was not being donated to FAS or any Singapore football activity, and to claim it was given to FAS is not factual,” said Lee through the statement.

“All donations and sponsorships from our partners are recorded and accounted for, and we will take the necessary action against parties who wilfully accuse the Association of improper fund management,” concluded Lee in the statement.