Bill Ng questioned by police after raid on three football clubhouses and FAS
SINGAPORE – A day after the local football fraternity was rocked by police raids on the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), and the clubhouses of Tiong Bahru Football Club (TBFC), Woodlands Wellington Football Club (WWFC) and Hougang United, businessman Bill Ng, the man behind the three clubs, has been questioned by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), his lawyer Shashi Nathan of Withers KhattarWong confimed on Friday (Apr 21). TODAY has also learnt that his wife, Bonnie Wong, is also assisting the police with investigations.
The 57-year-old had visited the CAD’s headquarters late Thursday night (April 20) to assist with investigations. All three clubhouses were shuttered and padlocked when TODAY visited their premises on Friday (April 21).
Shashi, who is from Withers KhattarWong, told TODAY: “I have been engaged to represent Bill Ng, and he has been assisting CAD with their inquiries."
According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra), Wong is listed as the authorised representative of Polygon Ventures Pte Ltd, a wholesale trading company that is also the landlord of the People's Park Centre basement unit that the TBFC clubhouse occupies. Wong shares the same residential address as Ng.
TODAY reported on Thursday that TBFC paid close to S$960,000 in rent to Polygon in FY 2015/16, which works out to be about S$80,000 per month.
Ng’s questioning by the police was first reported by The Straits Times which added that former FAS president Zainudin Nordin and FAS general secretary Winston Lee, were also questioned by the CAD.
Both Zainudin and Lee did not respond directly to queries from TODAY on the matter.
When contacted by TODAY, the Singapore Police Force said: “As investigations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to comment further at this point.”
Even as the police continue their probe into the matter, it was business as usual for S.League club Hougang United.
Midfielder Fabian Kwok said: “As much as this issue affects our club, we are here to do a job as players, and we are focused on getting the job done, especially since we’ve not been getting the results we want lately.
“We all know what’s going on, it’s in the news everywhere, but we don’t talk about it among ourselves.
“We have a professional mindset, we’ll leave this to the club’s backroom staff and administrators to settle this.
“For us, our job is just to play football and win football matches. Everything football-wise is still on schedule and nothing has changed.”
Hougang takes a break from the S.League this week, and will take on Balestier Khalsa at the Hougang Stadium on April 27.
The landmark FAS elections will also go ahead on April 29, as the ad hoc electoral committee had said on Thursday that it did not know of any reason to disrupt the elections.
In response to a query from TODAY, world governing body Fifa said on Friday that it is “monitoring the situation concerning FAS”.
The raid on the FAS headquarters and the three football clubs at Hougang Stadium, People’s Park Centre and Prinsep Street took place on Thursday (Apr 20) after Sport Singapore (SportSG) filed a police report on Wednesday against TBFC for suspected misuse of club funds, as well as a purported attempt by a senior official – understood to be Ng – to obstruct the competing of audits of the S.League’s sit-out clubs.
Police officers spent several hours at the four premises, and were later seen carrying boxes of files, documents, as well as computers to their vehicles in the wee hours of the morning.
The police even brought in a bus to Hougang Stadium to cart away boxes of documents
Ng and Lee have been engaged in a spat since last Thursday after Ng revealed that he had donated S$500,000 to the FAS. That money was reported to have gone to support the Asean Football Federation’s Football Management System.
The money had prompted SportSG to look into the matter, and after further checks, the national sports body decided to file a police report in respect to the “suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club’s funds”.
According to records, TBFC’s clubhouse at People’s Park Centre reaped a gross income of S$36.7 million for the Financial Year 2015/2016, with profits logged at some S$600,000.