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JM | Jun 7, 2022

Why Christopher Williams should head the Jamaica Football Federation

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today

administrator
Christopher Willams, co-founder and CEO of PROVEN Management Ltd, investment managers for PROVEN Investments Limited. (Photo: Facebook @WeAreProven1)

Let’s be clear, the Jamaican Football Federation is in complete chaos and, as it currently stands, can be written off as an abject failure.

Performances both on and off the field have been woeful.

The latest debacle concerning General Secretary Dalton Wint underscores the complete shambles the country’s governing football body finds itself in.

The Reggae Boyz are on a road to nowhere.

It can’t even organise a flight to return home from facing Suriname.

Reggae Boyz.

What is needed is new leadership with the aim to get the JFF successfully functioning and able to effectively compete against other national teams.

It has to be headed by someone with a proven track record, love for the game and the ability to lead and make football commercially viable. Someone who can command the support of both the players and those working in administration.

Christopher Williams readily comes to mind.

NEW ERA DEFINED BY PROGRESS AND SUCCESS

As it currently pertains, it looks like a confederacy of dunces running the show, lurching from one crisis to another, with the national team in regression.

Someone has to go in there and set their mark by establishing a new era defined by progress and success.

Chris Williams must be allowed full autonomy to run the Federation and not be bound by internecine politics.

The ultimate authority should lie with the boss and that was the approach taken by the late great Brian Clough of Nottingham Forest.

Brian Clough. (Photo: premierleague.com)

Interviewer: “How do you react when someone from your playing staff comes and says, ‘boss, I think you’re doing this wrongly’.”

Clough: “Well, then I ask him which way he thinks it should be done. We get down to it, and talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right.”

Through his experience, Williams understands the Clough mantra which the Nottingham Forest boss often declared: “Good managers make good sides. There’s no such thing as a side making a manager.”

Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United nearly a decade ago, the club has been in free fall and this season barely qualified for the Europa Conference League.

Erik ten Hag. (File Photo: REUTERS/Pedro Nunes)

It has not wasted any time in acknowledging its shortcomings as the former footballing powerhouse moved quickly to install Erik ten Hag to turn things around.

So too must the JFF. It needs a root and branch transformation and an injection of dynamism.

Williams, who is CEO of Proven Investments Limited (PIL), can restructure the JFF, help to attract investment and restore confidence in the national team.

Head coach of the Reggae Boyz, Paul Hall. (Photo: Facebook @JFFFootball)

The verve and energy he would bring could extinguish the lethargy that has beset the beleaguered JFF.

According to some media reports, the team is not happy with the present management and is demanding changes. Already, the Reggae Boyz coach Paul Hall has fallen on his sword, creating the headache of finding a new coach quickly.

But that’s not to say players should be dictating to management.

The Reggae Boyz huddled at the beginning of the first half of a match. (Photo: Facebook @CONCACAFcom)

They say football is a game of two halves. The Reggae Boyz are a team of both halves – foreign and local.

It’s difficult to get it to gel as a team if you have a guy from Harbour View earning J$20,000 a week sitting in the dressing room next to a guy in the English Premier League taking home £80,000 a week and can fly back after the game in a private jet.

All too often, a player with Jamaican ancestry who doesn’t have a cat’s in hell chance of playing for a British national team, puts himself up to play for Jamaica but never truly bonds with the team. He jets in and then jets out.

Faith has never really reposed in a local national coach and that is not right. Surely a Jamaican can draw upon local players to shape a team that can take on any international team and give them a good game, albeit with some foreign players?

The task is finding the balance and forming the connective tissue between the front office and backroom staff.

Chris Willams, co-founder and CEO of PROVEN Management Ltd, investment managers for PROVEN Investments Limited.

Now, there are those who say Chris Williams is a banker and that managing the national football governing administration is outside his circle of competence.

I beg to differ.

He can take a sabbatical from Proven or even hold both roles. There can be little doubt that he would be driven to succeed in bringing happier days to Jamaica’s national football team.

Whether Proven would let him go is another matter, but something tells me it is a challenge he would relish.

The goal is to create a high performing team that gets results with a leader who is capable of doing just that.

INSTRUCTIVE TO HEAR WHAT CLOUGH HAD TO SAY

It is instructive to hear what Brian Clough had to say when asked why Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were successful in winning European cups.

“We were down to basics for a start and we were a unit. International sides tend to be fragmented; people come in from all over the place but not with a club side. With a club side you are there. You work with the same colleagues for two, three four years, you become one of them.

“You will know how they act, how they eat, how they breathe, how they sleep – and if you’re lucky you might hear one of the girls snoring.

“So you will know everything which is what part of a team is and that is what Liverpool was and what I was with Nottingham Forest. We were a family, simple as that. We can all talk a good game of football but you’ve got to win something.”

READ: JFF Gen Sec out as Grange demands report in wake of Suriname travel arrangements debacle

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