Despite "a roller-coaster year of emotional highs and lows", Hougang United chairman Bill Ng has vowed not to turn his back on his S-League football club.
In a lengthy post on the club's website on New Year's Day, the 58-year-old wrote: "For my part, my committee and I remain fully committed in making HGFC a beacon of how a professional football club can continually thrive, even in the midst of uncertainties and changes.
This was the first time he has made any public statement since he and his wife Bonnie Wong, former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin and former FAS general secretary Winston Lee were arrested last April as part of a probe into suspected misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru Football Club. Ng is also the chairman of Tiong Bahru.
The quartet have been released on bail and investigations are ongoing.
Ng added: "It has been a difficult year, both for the club and myself. In April 2017, I led a team of very dedicated men and women to offer ourselves and our collective vision for Singapore football, in our first-ever FAS Council open election.
"We were genuinely very committed to bringing this sweeping change. Personally, I had also put in a lot of my resources in this election as I really wanted change to take place.
"Nevertheless, although the majority of affiliates did not choose us, we humbly respect their decision. "
He also mentioned that there were "misunderstandings" about Singapore football which he hoped can be undone and clarified, although he declined further comment about this when contacted yesterday by The Straits Times.
While the Cheetahs' sixth-placed finish last season was "way below the target we set", Ng said he was optimistic of improvements.
He also paid tribute to Hougang's former team manager Bruce Tan, former coach Amin Nasir and former groundsman Lambri Moondari. All died in the last 14 months.