Something very laughable caught my eye in last Sunday's Guardian.
It involved a former national coach and general council member sharing his views in an interview on the T&T Football Association (TTFA) annual general meeting (AGM) held on November 24. The items on the agenda were discussed but not completed so the meeting was adjourned to December 9 (this Sunday).
Still to be discussed is the approval of financial statements for 2017, approval of the 2019 budget and a motion of no confidence in the president.
Before the goodly gentleman, who probably has his heart in the right place for football, gave his views on the meeting, he declared, "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".
At that point, I was faced with the prospect of spending some precious time on a Sunday morning having just come from church, with three Premier League derby matches to come, to read this seemingly impartial interview. For what it was worth, I decided to go through it. I loved the diplomacy in some answers to some interesting questions such as whether the president is open and transparent with the general membership.
My question is if the president is open and transparent, why is he worried about how his detractors use information received within the TTFA? I must be so naive, or simply put, I must be an awful politician. I believe in honesty, integrity and no matter how detractors twist information on social media, the truth and nothing but the truth will always prevail.
We can all agree that the 'Home of Football' is an excellent initiative but why can't the information be made public? It is interesting in the interview that it was noted that the president could have handled the issues surrounding the project differently. Of course, one of the ways he could have approached this was to simply come out and tell the public what was the deal with the project if there is one. I believe a year has passed and all the public has been told is that it has been funded by FIFA to the tune of TT$18 Million.
This whole sordid division within the TTFA ranks based on the interview has degenerated into a 'they say - we say' affair, even to the extent where it is alleged that the opponents of the president are more skilful than him in presenting half of the story to social media. I am sure the president has full access to all forms of media in this country and I am even more certain that all the media wants is correct and truthful information coming from the president's office.
I was unsure where we were heading with this answer but I now understand that it was to make a point that the opponents have not reported a scandal (here we go again) which has been unearthed regarding a former president and an alleged email and sworn affidavit. Therefore, if they haven't as you say, “buss that mark”, why doesn't whoever within your rank and file “buss that mark”? Don't you think you owe it to the football-loving public of T&T to get the truth about whatever scandal is taking place? Or are all of you “sissy like”, to restate your words, and afraid to speak out?
To the big question: is the TTFA better off today than it was before John-Williams became president? The campaign manager was seemingly chary in his assessment. He alluded to the TTFA being in a better financial standing from a debt management and asset base standpoint, as well as being more financially sustainable.
I am overjoyed to know the TTFA is addressing its debts so very quickly. Perhaps we should see where all the former, and in some cases, current national coaches have been paid. Some coaches have come and gone in recent years and we hear of them bitterly complaining that they are owed money. I know private companies are owed and some are in a legal battle with the TTFA. But the TTFA is apparently better off today in addressing its debts. Really?
At least some good came out of the interview when it was revealed that results on the field “are not great at the moment”. To be factual, results are poor. Let us go back to qualification for the World Cup and the firing of the coach; the debacle with the women's national team; the Under-20 and U-17 men's teams are struggling. Disaster after disaster with our national teams and we are starting to be the laughing stock of the Caribbean while Jamaica continues to move up in all divisions.
Complaints of no funding for preparation of the national teams? What about sponsors? Can the goodly gentleman tell me how many sponsors are knocking down the door of the TTFA? Say what you wish about Corporate T&T but they know a good product when they see one and for years T&T football had been a good product. One just has to look back at the last 'Hex' qualifying stage when quite a few sponsors came on board but as results did not go our way, they moved away. Let us, however, be realistic; which corporation would want to get involved in an organisation shrouded in secrecy and divided with board members not trusting their leader?
I continue to hope and pray that one day we will have a TTFA that engages far more with the stakeholders in football. Engage the media (isn't there a media relations officer?) and care more for the people of T&T who so dearly love and support football.
SOURCE: T&T Guardian