John-Williams is not Moses but he is certainly not the shaitan
On November 24 the T&T Football Association (TTFA) held its hat the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the UWI Faculty Lounge -The Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI, St Augustine but after only reaching nine items on the agenda the meeting was adjourned to Sunday 9 December 2018 at 10:00 am.
Nine items on the agenda were completed, namely:
* Roll Call
* Declaration that the Annual General Meeting has been convened and composed in compliance with the Constitution.
* Approval of the Agenda.
* Address by the President David John-Williams.
* Appointment of delegates to check the minutes.
* Appointment of scrutineers (for the President’s Address)
* Suspension of explosion of members (Nothing for Discussion).
* Audit report presented by Auditor and approved by the General Membership
* Election of the Members of the Board of Directors (Rayshawn Mars [Northern FA), Bandele Kamau [Eastern FA], Colin Partap [Central FA], Sharon Warrick [WOLF] and Julia Baptiste [TT Pro League].
Outstanding items for the reconvened meeting are as follows:
* Motion of No Confidence in the President
* Approval of the financial statements for 2017
* Approval of the 2019 Budget
* Proposed amendment to the Consitution
* Business arising from the Approval of the minutes of the preceding general meetings (Incomplete as the meeting was adjourned during this process.
* Other Business
Following the conclusion of the first half of the meeting, Guardian Sports spoke to the former national coach and general council member of the TTFA Jamal Shabazz about his views on the meeting. He declared to us, "That in my efforts to be transparent, I must declare before answering any question in this interview that I am a friend of David John-Williams and I campaigned for his slate in the 2015 TTFA election.
Q. What was your general summarization of last Saturday's TTFA AGM?
Any exercise that allows the stakeholders in our football to meet and discuss is welcomed by me. At times the meeting was brutal but it's better we battle our differences in one room than wash football's dirty linen in public.
The difference of opinions is healthy I actually learn a lot from the process.
Q. Is President David John-Williams working for football or for David John-Williams from what you have seen from the administration since he because of President?
President David John Williams has made genuine efforts to take football forward and I will bring examples. But our culture in organizations have been to rock back and let a saviour do all the work, then when they start becoming unilateral in their decision making we then try to crucify the saviour.
This administration has been the first in our history to actively make an effort to address debts that they came and met.
They have ensured that the Senior National Men's Team play on all the Fifa Match dates including playing against some top opponents.
They had on contract senior women's footballers receiving a monthly salary for a year and a half.
They acquired land are building a home for football and significantly increased the asset base of the TTFA.
Q. Is any of the criticisms with regards to his management style factual?
DJW comes out of a successful club background and the building industry. He has grown accustomed to being aggressive in decision making and making decisions to expedite matters and take advantage of opportunities with the here and now approach.
The running of the TTFA because of its many stakeholders demand a greater interaction and consultation with its Board. I think he can improve in that area.
Q. Is the Home of Football good for the sport or not?
The building of the Home of Football is the best thing that has happened to T&T football since qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Without even going into the commercial potential the mere fact that our national teams will now have a place to eat, sleep and drink football is a major benefit.
The work of the coaches, players and administrators to use these facilities to develop our football and get results on the field is what will turn this house into a true home for football.
Q. As someone with a vote at the AGM, is President David John-Williams open and transparent with the general membership?
There were some issues with regard to making it public who was given the contracts regarding building the "Home of Football". I would have liked the President to handle it differently.
However, there is a heavy level of distrust regarding how his detractors use information received within the TTFA. One crew uses it and often twists it on social and mainstream media aimed at showing the TTFA in a negative light. This because there is a group in the football fraternity practising opposition politics and proving to be bitterly obstructive.
So far information coming out of the AGM is providing answers to a lot of questions and shedding light on a lot of litigation brought against the John-Williams administration for actions of previous administrations.
Q. Do you believe that those who attend the meeting (AGM) are fair in their criticisms of the President from what you have seen from attending the AGM?
The opponents of David John-Williams are more skilful than him in presenting half of the story to social media. How come nowhere have they reported the scandal that has been unearthed regarding a former president and an alleged email and sworn affidavit?. I am surprised they have not chosen to buss that mark.
Q. What is your view with regards the No Confidence motion against the President?
The no-confidence motion is a shambolic attempt by a few people who want to gain the power to scuttle David John- Williams term in office. What they claim as missteps by his administration does not warrant him to be removed from office We have seen past administrations made far worst mistakes and the current detractors tongues were tied.
But there is something about the Home of Football being built that would show certain people in a bad light that makes the attacks against the President very personal.
The AGM will determine at the end of the President has the confidence of football's stakeholders or not.
Q. Would you support an amendment to the constitution for a simple majority to have the President removed from office?
No, I would not support an amendment for a simple majority to remove a President from office in football. Bringing about change in football requires unpopular decisions at times. So if a few people are against the leadership that's not enough they must be able to convince 2/3 majority of their rationale.
A precedent of simple majority removal in football's governance could set a destabilizing effect in the future of football.
The bigger question is why are they so afraid of David John-Williams finishing his final year in office. John-Williams is not Moses but he is certainly not the shaitan they are making him out to be.
Q. Former TTFA Presidential candidate Ramesh Ramdhan wrote in a Facebook post last week that current Board members Keith Look Loy and Anthony Hafford are positioning themselves to replace David John-Williams as President, do you agree or not?
There are several persons who want to put their hands on the power in the office of football and they are entitled to put themselves forward via the electoral process. However, the time has come for the aspirants to do more than bad talk.
They must present solutions to key issues like how we are going to service the huge debt inherited in the TTFA.
Also this type of opposition politics being practised by attempting to obstruct governance and ridicule the football leadership with half-truths and innuendos it will backfire when they come to power. Wait and let's see.
Q. Is the TTFA better off today than it was before David John-Williams became President?
I think the TTFA as an organization is better off today in terms of addressing its debts, increasing its asset-based and laying the platform for self-sufficiency.
However, the poor cash flow has affected the funding and financing of preparations for the national teams.
So the results on the field are not great at the moment, however, sometimes the forest needs to be burnt down for the grass to grow greener and more productive.
Q. What would you like to see the President do differently going forward?
I want to see the President engage more with the stakeholders in football. We should not wait on AGMs to discuss issues faced in the leagues, clubs and member associations. Bilateral meetings and even quarterly meetings with stakeholders will be better.
After every Board meeting, there must be some interaction with the media to keep the public abreast of what they need to know. Sometimes we fear to be the bearer of bad news, but the journey in governance will have moments when the news is not always good.
Q. How do you rate David John-Williams against, Raymond Tim Kee and Oliver Camps on a scale from 1 to 10?
I see no comparison because John-Williams is a hands-on football intellect who is capable of presenting a vision and solutions to football problems even at the world level.
Mr Camps was a nice guy controlled by a puppet master. He had very little to do with decision making and his naivety as to what was really going on in the organization has placed him unfairly so; in a most precarious situation today.
Mr Tim Kee is a smooth savvy executive with limited knowledge of how to take the game forward. His elevation to presidency came about with an almost sissy like defection of his opponent at that time.
When the truth comes out about Mr Tim Kee's reliance on Sheldon Phillips as General Secretary, it will make interesting reading.
I dare journalists in mainstream and social media to pursue it.