S. League: Now Hougang help Tanjong Pagar

S. League: Now Hougang help Tanjong Pagar

They raked in a profit in excess of $2 million in 2014 - a situation virtually unheard of in an S.League which has struggled to attract sponsorship dollars over the years.

Attributing the club's financial success to good clubhouse management, Hougang chairman Bill Ng also revealed recently that the club donated over $700,000 to the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) development fund over the last few years.

In his latest act of philanthropy, Ng has loaned Tanjong Pagar United (above) $120,000 to help alleviate their debts.

The Jaguars, who dropped out of the S.League at the end of last season owing to financial woes, still have a number of players on their books with a year remaining on their contracts.

The move has raised questions over whether an S.League club, which is a registered society, can loan money to another club.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Tanjong Pagar general manager Richard Woon confirmed Ng's loan.

"The loan from Hougang United is to settle some players and staff contracts; normal stuff," Woon said.

"All this is with the FAS's (Football Association of Singapore) knowledge."

HAPPY

When contacted, FAS spokesman Gerard Wong said the national football body was happy to see S.League clubs help each other.

"This is an encouraging sign for the local football community," Wong said.

"Hougang United are helping Tanjong Pagar United overcome a short-term problem, and according to Hougang, this does not infringe their constitution."

While Ng could not be reached for comment, Woon highlighted that the loan was well within the rules and said Tanjong Pagar plans to repay the $120,000 once the club are in the black.

"There is no reason why one football club cannot lend another club money - it is not a donation," Woon said. "After this, the club's debts are clear."

Hougang have come under the microscope recently, after the merger between the Cheetahs and Woodlands Wellington, who pulled out of the S.League at the end of last year due to financial woes.

A group of Woodlands fans have questioned the legality of the merger and they filed a complaint with the police last week.

In an interview with TNP last month, Ng credited above-board management and a sound strategy for Hougang's success in staying in the black.

He also revealed long-term plans for the club, which include obtaining a lease for a stadium to create more revenue streams.

aakasim@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 29, 2015.
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