The following is Bill Ng’s press release. Ng is one of two presidential candidates for next week’s Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election. He is also the chairman of S-League club Hougang United and National Football League club Tiong Bahru FC.
1. We have reached ground zero for Football in Singapore. We need to start afresh from here.
2. Many well-wishers and concerned friends have shared their thoughts – that we have washed dirty linen in public, potentially even sullied my own reputation, and not focused on Singapore football, which has sunken to all time lows in world ranking.
3. 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. Sad, but a true reflection.
4. I have contributed to football in Singapore in many ways – including this incident – out of my passion and concern for Football in Singapore. What I have shared is just a reflection of the frustration and many uninspiring thoughts that come with dealing with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) administration in the last 10 years.
5. I am trying to be a little vocal so you can hear my predicament. I believe that other Chairmen, Sponsors, Captains and Players have experienced somewhat similar scenarios, and have chosen to suffer in silence out of fear of being marginalised by a group of administrators. How many times in the past have Club Chairmen, Coaches and Players all been sanctioned just for voicing their opinions, with the hope of helping Singapore Football?
6. My plea to all of you is to go and hear them out, let them share their stories. Let their stories not just be heard, but be learnings for the new FAS council.
7. This enforced directive from FIFA for direct FAS elections has created an opportunity to increase openness, solicit performance benchmarks for office bearers, encourage more interaction and conversations between so many parties. This will be vital for the future to stay competitive for the future of Singapore.
8. Administration of football requires both top-down and bottoms-up iterative conversations with every interested party. Crowdsourcing of ideas and opinions has to become a tenet to manage all sports communities.
9. The revelations over the last few days has to be a “time to clear the air” moment for Football in Singapore. A restart that is belatedly needed. 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.
10. Only when we have awareness of our shortcomings, develop and acceptance of those shortcomings, then can we have the wisdom, acceptance and fortitude to make the Change for the betterment of Football in Singapore.
We urge the affiliates to vote for change.