Prison officer Lee Davis is the new president of the T&T Super League (TTSL).
He got the nod ahead of Kieron Edwards, the former Eastern Football Association (EFA) president and Defence Force's Ryan Ottley in a hotly contested virtual election on Sunday.
Ottley, once favoured for the lead position in the initial stages, was dropped after the first round of voting which Davis won 8-4-2. In the second round, the 14 clubs that went equipped with voting rights, again gave the prison officer the nod eight votes to two over Edwards.
But as the celebrations were reduced to the confines of his home, Davis surprising said it was not what he expected.
"I didn't look at the whole landscape, it was like a three-week decision for me more or less and I was asked to throw my hat into the ring, but I really wasn't expecting it," Davis said.
Meanwhile, seven clubs suspended by the Super League in 2019 were reinstated. Defence Force, Central 500 FC, Harlem Strikers FC, Marabella FCC, 1976 Phoenix, WASA FC and the Youth Stars have now been given their rights to vote at meetings among other privileges but this decision came following Sunday's elections.
On Friday, four of the 11 clubs - 1976 Phoenix, Harlem FC, Youth Stars and Central 500 - issued a pre-action protocol letter to TTSL secretary Peter Thomas through their Attorney Peter Taylor, threatening to pursue legal action if they were not allowed to vote on Sunday.
Davis said that issue was not only new to him, but it did not come up for debate at the meeting. However, he urged clubs to do the right thing, saying, they do not only represent their own interest, but the interest of the communities they come from.
Davis will now attempt to reach clubs individually as his first order of business is to mend bridges, saying: "The clubs got reinstated so it's now to bridge the divide or the situation that caused the problem. We must see what the issues are and then try to mend the gaps among the clubs in the Super League. I want to go with the clubs to their different areas and really have a meeting within the communities so that the people in the communities would know that the clubs are theirs, not the executive of the clubs."
With a Masters Degree in International Finance, Davis is now set to provide much-needed assistance to clubs disenfranchised by being non-compliant, as well as those in need of general management help.
A vice president of the T&T Football Referees Association and chairman of the East Zone, Davis said another main challenge for him will be to attract sponsors.
"Sponsorship, especially in T&T football, has always been a sore point. We don't get the level of sponsorship we need, we don't get the sponsors to stay, and one of the things that might be the reason for that is the attractiveness of the product, and different things go into that, so we have to work that out.
"After that is to get the best players to play up to the top level, and of course, money is another problem, so it's the chicken and egg syndrome.
"But I think once we get the clubs and the League to show that all our actions are above board, with respect to audit and financing, you'll find that sponsors might be very willing to get involved."
Davis' slate will include first vice-president Eddison Dean, second vice-president Andre Bernard and Board members George Joseph, Nicholas Gopaul and Huey Cadette.
Davis replaces Clayton Morris, who was voted in , in 2020, as the new president in place of Jameson Rigues, the then TTSL's first vice-president who took over the leadership following the resignation of Keith Look Loy in October 2020.
ABOVE SOURCE: T&T Guardian
Suspensions lifted on seven clubs, Lee Davis elected TT Super League president
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).
NEWLY-appointed president of the TT Super League Lee Davis is eager to hit the ground running after being voted in at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, on Sunday.
His main items on the agenda are tackling covid19 vaccination concerns, getting football back on the field and encouraging clubs to get more involved within their communities.
The AGM began at 9.30 am and ended after 4 pm.
Davis will serve as president from 2021 to 2025. Davis replaces former president Clayton Morris, who did not put his name in the hat to get re-elected.
Davis of Prisons FC defeated Eastern Football Association president Kieron Edwards and TT Defence Force football manager Ryan Ottley for the top post.
Eddison Dean is the first vice-president, Andre Barnard is the second vice-president and the ordinary board members are Huey Cadette, Nicholas Gopaul and George Joseph.
Seven clubs that were suspended including Central 500, Defence Force, Harlem Strikers, 1976 Phoenix, Marabella Family Crisis Centre, WASA FC and Youth Stars are members of the TTSL again.
The clubs were only observers at the AGM and were not allowed to vote.
The clubs were suspended for various reasons. A TTSL media release signed by league secretary Peter Thomas said the previously suspended clubs are “recognised as bonafide members of the TTSL once again as decided by the TTSL general membership.”
Discussing his plans with Newsday, Davis said, “It is almost two years since we’ve had any competitive football at all. The young people, the country…crying out for some distraction from the issues. Obviously we will have to wait more or less on how the Government unrolls its strategy…we have to wait for them, the CMO and the Ministry of Health.”
Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe has repeated in recent months that local athletes must get vaccinated to operate.
On the vaccination drive, Davis said, “I am not against vaccination at all, but I believe that some people might still have some concerns I think need to be addressed.
“Funny enough, I don’t think that conversation in football has really started for us to decide what is the best way forward.”
Davis said the clubs must understand their roles. “The whole issue of the clubs getting or remaining in touch with the main stakeholders, the community, the people around (and) even the youth programmes which definitely comes from the communities, that is so necessary.
“I believe in developing a bottom up strategy…everybody has a stake in it. Definitely meeting with the clubs (is the plan), getting their views, trying to mend all the different perspectives and coming up with the best plan for everybody going forward.”