S-League: Rams fans make police report

S-League: Rams fans make police report
Woodlands Wellington footballers leaving Woodlands Stadium on 3 November 2014. The players faced an uncertain future after being told at a club meeting that the club will merge with Hougang United for next season.

A group of fans of former S.League club Woodlands Wellington have filed a police report questioning the legality of last year's merger between their club and Hougang United.

Prior to lodging the report with authorities, members of the fan group Northern Rams met with officials from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on a few occasions - raising issues with the local football authority before making the police report last Wednesday.

"There has been a report filed, and the police have got back to us with the contact details of the investigating officer," said Ben Teh, a member of the Northern Rams.

"Things (surrounding the merger) don't seem to add up, and we want to know what happened."

In response to queries from The New Paper, FAS spokesman Gerard Wong said: "FAS officials met with the fans twice and fielded all their queries regarding the merger. FAS will co-operate fully with the authorities with regards to any issues raised in the police report."


In an earlier report in TNP last Wednesday, it was revealed that the fans had pressed the S.League over how, among other things, the licence Woodlands obtained to run a games room with jackpot machines had now come under Hougang's control.

The FAS responded that it had already obtained "in-principal approval from the relevant authorities on the merger, and is overseeing the merger process".

The FAS statement continued to say that the "assets of both clubs (Woodlands and Hougang) had yet to be merged", due to the fact that Woodlands - whose accounts are currently being audited - still have outstanding debts understood to be in the region of $400,000.

The merger of the two clubs was mooted by the league as part of its consolidation initiative for a 10-team competition in 2015, and the newly merged entity retained only the Hougang name.

At the end of the 2014 season, Tanjong Pagar United also dropped out, trimming the S.League from 12 to 10 teams this season.

"At the end of day Woodlands is a community club, and our goal is to have the club back in the community, running football activities," said Teh.

Hougang are currently second from bottom in the S.League table, with no wins, three draws and four losses.


This article was first published on April 20, 2015.
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