Football: Tampines Rovers chairman Desmond Ong assures S-League club's operations won't be affected despite him being involved in court case

Tampines chairman Ong says his being involved in a court case will not affect team

Although he may be involved in a court case, Tampines Rovers chairman Desmond Ong has given the assurance that operations at the S-League football club will not be impeded.

On Jan 16, he was charged for failing to disclose to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) information that could affect the price or value of a company's securities when he was a director of a company called New Lakeside Holdings.

The 48-year-old said: "This happened in 2009 when I was a director in a company called New Lakeside.

"The authorities have since determined that an announcement made by the company was misleading and decided to charge the directors.

"I take these things very seriously and I have taken legal advice. But this should neither detract nor distract from what we are doing at Tampines. The load (of running the club) is shared among the committee, the club is bigger than one man and we are determined to achieve our targets."

With two months to go before the new season kicks off, Ong revealed that the Stags will be rolling out a series of announcements on their plans for the campaign.

For a start, Tampines have secured a two-year jersey deal with Danish sportswear company Hummel to provide home, away and third kits as well as training jerseys for the team.

OPERATIONS WILL GO ON

...This should neither detract nor distract from what we are doing at Tampines. The load is shared among the committee, the club is bigger than one man.

DESMOND ONG , Tampines Rovers chairman, on his ongoing court case.

The club will also not have a main shirt sponsor this year after their management committee decided that the word "hormat" (Malay for "respect") will be emblazoned on the jerseys instead.

There are also plans to have the word printed in other languages as well to reflect Singapore's multi-racial society.

Ong said: "The players have to respect the club values, fellow players, coaches and officials.

"They have to respect their profession by taking care of their bodies and diets.

"We turned down good money for this space on our shirts to make a stand. This piece of real estate will not be for sale this year."

Ong added that, with the slogan printed on the jerseys, players will be mindful if they want to argue with referees during games.

Tampines will also collaborate with JSSL this year, allowing the local private football academy to manage their youth programmes.

In March, Tampines will also hold a fundraising dinner with the aim of raising $300,000 for the club. An auction of football memorabilia during the dinner is also planned.

On Ong's ongoing court case, an FAS spokesman said: "It is premature for FAS to make any comment on the case at this juncture. FAS will continue to monitor the developments and further course of action, if any, will be announced."

Regardless of the distraction away from football, the Tampines chairman is keen to get the campaign under way after laying down the plans.

He said: "The Tampines management feels very energised and enthusiastic about the season ahead.

"We feel that for the first time in many years, the FAS is serious about changing Singapore football. And we are very happy to be part of all this."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2018, with the headline 'Club 'bigger than one man''. Print Edition | Subscribe