Taking T&T football forward - Part 2
When asked what would I do if given the opportunity to make policy for the TTFF, the first thing I say is to take the business of the TTFF out into the open.
A clearly defined constitution would be written and federation matters should be discussed under the plain sight of anyone who wishes to view the proceedings. Agendas and minutes of board meetings would be posted on the TTFF website and meetings themselves would be streamed online.
At the same time, the first order of external business would be to pay the 2006 World Cup and 2010 Digicel Cup players and in conjunction with correcting that injustice, the ledger of the TTFF should become public record complete with clearly defined revenue streams and expenditures.
Such should be among the first moves to help lift the veil of secrecy and lack of accountability that has become an all too familiar trademark of the TTFF and its more senior policy makers. Most important, I would like to see a new ethos that embraces good governance over cultivation of power.
Once establishing a firm, transparent, and efficient business model, attention should be turned to implementing a technical programme that reaches out to other stakeholders of football such as the professional clubs, the SSFL, and government. Coaching development protocols that seek to promote development on the grassroots level as well as on the elite level should be put forth and supported within the first year of a new federation regime.
Extensive player identification programme networks to scout and discover any player eligible to represent T&T must also be a part of a player development programme that includes a national player academy as the centerpiece of its technical development system.
Finally, it would do our football well to establish T&T as a destination point for international club teams for exhibition matches and training camps so that our local players will be exposed to the best possible level of competition. All of these endeavours must be clearly presented to the public through digital and traditional media means.
It would also do the federation well to help provide PFL and Super League franchises; including the players, marketing assistance to help create reasons why the public should come and support local football.
Whether establishing relationships with communities located within close proximity to their club or taking better care to cultivate and craft their own skills, the local professional footballer must realise they are their own and the league’s best salesmen. For the most part this does not exist and match attendances reflect the public indifference.
None of this can be accomplished without a clear mandate from a public that demands a lot from its leaders as well as themselves. Once such a social compact is created, the imbalance that currently exists within our football will soon be fixed.
However, until leaders and institutions are continuously held accountable to uphold their end of the bargain, the public will only have themselves to blame and we may be forever relegated to the abyss of lowered expectations when the world hears our name. That would be a shame because of what we have shown we can do.