April 5 - a glorious, sunny day. No English Premier League football, no Indian Premier League cricket or for that matter, nothing sporting wise to watch so just another day of lockdown; or so I thought.
But this is T&T so I picked up the Sunday Guardian and there were the headlines; one read, 'Look Loy under fire from TTSL VP, clubs’ and the other, ‘Dillon: I didn’t
get TTCB November letter’.
Even with no activity on the sporting field, there is seldom a dull moment off the field especially with football and cricket in this country. So I thought let me delve
into these stories.
Now, I have no allegiance to Look Loy and I only knew him from school days when he was a tough, no-nonsense centre-half playing for St Mary’s College. Off the field, he is the same way - what you see is exactly what you get. Our paths crossed a few times after that when he was on the technical staff of Malick Secondary and Joe Public F.C. while I was at Fatima and Carib FC so I hold no brief for him.
I have since served with him over the last few years on the board of the T&T Super League (TTSL) as I was nominated by Queen’s Park Cricket Club to be on said board. Like any president, he has his own views on how things should run but credit must go to the board members as if they don’t agree with something, they let him know and if need be, it is put to a vote; and if he wins or loses, we move on together like any democratic board.
When Mr. Look Loy called me asking if I would support the TTSL giving US$2,000 as a donation to help cover the legal fees of the former executive of the T&T Football Association (TTFA), in their fight against FIFA’s implementation of a normalisation committee to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I immediately said no. I felt it was not a board decision but rather a club decision to spend this money on legal fees.
As I was made to understand, I was the second board member to be contacted and as we both said no, Look Loy never bothered to contact the other members of the board as his next step was to contact all the clubs directly and allow them to make the decision.
I foresaw the responses coming from the clubs so I was indeed comfortable with the process. Ten clubs voted to support the TTFA and make the donation, two abstained and one replied by email asking if it was a joke. The evidence is there for all to see and I would say to those, seek and you shall find but there will always be those who don’t care to know the truth as many of us, unfortunately, thrive on propaganda and misinformation.
Perhaps I am simplifying the issue but it was a simple vote: yes or no to support the legal action of the TTFA board. Why even such a simple exercise must turn into stark controversy is baffling but once again, there are those in society who will oppose for opposing sake once they are not in charge or they don’t support who is in charge.
Look back at the TTSL, it is arguably one of the best-run leagues in the country. Fixtures are completed on time, payment to match officials are on time and once the sponsors who commit to sponsorship do their part, prize money is paid out.
Like Look Loy, I have no allegiance to Mervyn Dillon, T&T Red Force coach. I first encountered Mervyn when I managed the T&T regional team at the Red Stripe bowl back in Jamaica.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t continue with those duties due to my job commitments but then again, I was never asked after that. I suppose being persona non grata I didn’t fit the role that the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) was after.
To be honest, I do feel for Dillon but how do these irregularities happen? Dillon says he got no letter from the TTCB of their intention to advertise for his position when his contract ends but the board says he was informed via a letter in November? So who does one believe?
Again, something as simple as this turns into a big controversy. Don’t get me wrong, the board has all right to advertise the post but why am I getting the feeling that something is not sitting right? Is this the only post being advertised and if so why? Surely there must be a multitude of posts within the organisation to be advertised when the cricket season ends.
Please, correct me if I am wrong but I haven’t seen any advertisements for Under-19, U-17 coaches, etc. Aren’t coaches throughout the system just as important as the senior coach? It leaves me to wonder if Dillon’s position has been advertised for more than cricketing reasons.
Over the years, we have been humbled, humiliated and beaten and we never changed coach or for that matter, the entire management team. But, here is a case where we finished second and the team seemed to be improving and we are suddenly advertising for a senior coach.
Come on, TTCB. You can do better than this. If the incumbent is not wanted other than for cricketing reasons, then sack him and put the person whom you think is better suited to do the job; that is also within your right. But, how do you not rehire a man who led the team in the last three matches to a first innings win and two outright victories, one being against the champions?
Best of luck.
The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and do not reflect the views of any organisation of which he is a stakeholder.