S.LEAGUE APPOINTS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
SINGAPORE, 6 JANUARY 2012 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is pleased to announce that Mr Lim Chin will join the S.League Strategic Business Unit as Chief Executive Officer, with immediate effect. Mr Lim was formerly an officer in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) who held the rank of Colonel (COL) and was also the former Chief of Artillery.
Mr Lim is also a key figure in the local football fraternity, having served as Chairman of SAFFC from 2002 to 2006. Mr Lim will be assisted by Mr Johan Gouttefangeas who will assume the post of Deputy CEO. Mr Gouttefangeas, who had played professional football in Europe, Australia and Asia before his retirement in 2006, was the previous Chairman of Etoile FC which won the S.League title and League Cup in its maiden season in 2010.
In welcoming the appointments, FAS President Zainudin Nordin said: “We believe we have found in Lim Chin and Johan two men who not only have strong football backgrounds and are familiar faces in the local football fraternity but more importantly, they bring with them strong leadership skills and strategic management capabilities. As the CEO, Lim Chin will oversee the operations of the various divisions and work closely with the key stakeholders to ensure the commercial viability of the S.League. Johan, who has experience in professional football and marketing, will be tasked primarily to broaden the market appeal of the S.League and also assist the S.League clubs in their scouting missions.
“We are confident that Lim Chin, Johan and their management team, which will include a Chief of Marketing, Chief of Corporate Communications and a Chief of Competitions, will build on the success of the S.League and bring the league to the next level.”
Mr Lim said: “I am honoured to join an organisation that has gained recognition and stature both regionally and internationally, and I hope to continue the good work done by outgoing CEO Winston Lee and his team. I am thankful to FAS President Zainudin Nordin and Winston for having secured additional financial resources for the clubs over the next five years, as well as introducing the new initiatives aimed at boosting the Great Eastern YEO’S S.League in 2012. Going forward, I will be working closely with my team to devise the S.League Strategic Plan which will bring us to the next level.”
The 50-year-old added: “One of my immediate priorities is to explore ways to increase match-day attendance and revenue streams. I look forward to meeting and working closely with our stakeholders including FAS, club chairmen, sponsors, advertisers, media, volunteers and fans as we aspire to raise the standard of our professional league.”
Mr Gouttefangeas said: “I am privileged to be appointed as the Deputy CEO and I look forward to tapping my extensive network of contacts in Europe, Australia and Asia and recommend quality foreign players to our S.League clubs.
“There are exciting times ahead and I urge all football-loving Singaporeans to stand united and come forward to support the S.League. I am excited to take on the challenges ahead and I look forward to working closely with Mr Lim Chin and other members of the management team.”
Mr Lim and his team will report to a Management Committee that comprises persons with commercial experience in various fields such as media relations, commercial sponsorships and international relations. The Management Committee will be chaired by Mr Zainudin, while former FAS President Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee will serve as an Advisor to the Committee.
Mr Zainudin said: “Apart from the CEO and Deputy CEO positions, we also actively searched for suitably-qualified resource persons whom we believe would add value to the new S.League management team. I would like to express my gratitude A/P Ho and the other members of the Management Committee for agreeing to volunteer their time and services to local football.”
Mr Zainudin also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Winston Lee.
“Under Winston’s stewardship as CEO for the past five years, the S.League has progressed well and it is now firmly established as one of the top professional football leagues in Asia. Despite the constraints and challenges – including the 2008/09 financial crisis – facing Singapore football and having to assume a few key positions, including FAS General Secretary and Chief of Marketing, due to budgetary constraints as well as the move to channel financial resources to youth development, Winston has done well to strengthen the S.League in all aspects.
“For instance, our youth development programmes and initiatives received a ringing endorsement from FIFA Technical Director Jean-Michel Bénézet, who was in Singapore recently to assess the implementation of the FAS Strategic Plan among other things. Off the field, I am thankful to Winston for working relentlessly with me to secure the additional funding for clubs over the next five seasons, and also for devising the S.League version 2.0 initiatives. We appreciate the energy and tenacity Winston has applied to build the S.League brand name to its current level, and we reckon Lim Chin and his team should tap on Winston’s expertise whenever necessary,” Mr Zainudin said.
Following the appointment of the new S.League CEO, Mr Lee will now concentrate on his role as General Secretary of FAS and oversee the implementation of FAS Strategic Plan – which Mr Bénézet has assessed to be on the right track – as well as the participation of the LIONS XII FC in the Malaysian Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup from 2012 onwards.
“In addition, Winston will also continue to develop and promote Singapore football through key initiatives including partnership agreements with other Football Associations and the possible formation of an Asean Super League,” Mr Zainudin added.
Mr Lee described his 5½-year stint as S.League CEO as a “humbling and inspiring experience”, and thanked the various stakeholders including sponsors, clubs, officials, volunteers, fans and media, for their support and perseverance over the years.
“It has been a humbling and inspiring experience for me to witness how the club chairmen and officials have worked tirelessly to bring success to their clubs, how the volunteers sacrificed their time to play a role in promoting football, and how fans never fail to provide vociferous support for their teams. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who has contributed to the league’s success story,” said Mr Lee.
“While there are enormous challenges ahead, I am confident that Lim Chin and his team will be able to build on the success of the S.League to date and strengthen the league. I wish them all the very best and I will always be available to help in any way whenever necessary,” he added.