Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Anderson assembles strong team as he seeks JFF top job

Published:Monday | September 18, 2023 | 12:08 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
JFF vice president Raymond Anderson
JFF vice president Raymond Anderson

After more than 30 years as a member of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration in a variety of capacities, vice president Raymond Anderson has decided to challenge Michael Ricketts for the presidency.

Anderson said that as a part of the present administration, he has seen the flaws and weaknesses of the federation and believes he has the experience and insight to take the administration to the next level.

As a result, he has assembled a high-powered team to aid his challenge for local football’s top job and promises integrity, transparency and good governance all round.

“I have been inside the boardroom for over 35 years and in this time when there is more support, in terms of financial and other support, than before, and when you look at our position now compared to then you would say it is really disappointing.

“So being in there (JFF) I know we are short with some skill sets to move the football to the level where everyone is happy.

“I have seen all the blueprints and what we have implemented and what we have not. But we need changes. If you are going to continue doing the same thing over and over, with the same people then you are going to get the same result.

“So we want a different result now and hence I have stepped forward and selected a team with the skill sets to take us to the next level,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s campaign team includes Denzil Wilkes, former Sports Development Foundation general manager and current University of the West Indies athletic development and training manager; Mark Bennett, Kingston and St Andrew Football Association president; Jackie Cummings, lawyer and sports administrator and journalist; and sport marketer Carole Beckford.

Though not ready to announce his slate for the next annual general meeting (AGM) in December, he declared that his team will come from the list of people who make up the current team.

He believes they will be well served in all areas based on the personnel involved.

“I first spoke with three (JFF) board members and told them my plan. They bought it and we moved to the next level where we looked outside of the boardroom and outside of football and identified some people.

“The first move was to create a campaign team and now we are trying to meet and look at all the possibilities and see how best we can really improve so that when they say go, we have our first tier and the second tier leadership right around the table.

“The expertise we want we already have. We have to have a complement of five (executives), but we already have people around the table that know what this administration wants to move to the next level. We have a good team with the skill sets that the football needs and that is our strong point,” he said.

With the number of voting delegates increasing from 13 to 56, Anderson said the possibilities are encouraging and although the feedback from his campaign has been really positive thus far, he insisted there is still much work to do before they are truly prepared for the December poll.

“It is now 56 (votes). At one stage it was 13. But people now will vote for a variety of reasons. So it gives us an easier way to reach out to more people.

“We have reached out to stakeholders and if they are serious with the upward movement of football they will consider our team.”

He added that he has a lot of respect for Ricketts, but insisted the health of the nation’s football is his only priority.

“One has to respect the other. Mr Ricketts and myself have a very good relationship. But this is about the football. It is not about good relationships. It is about developing football the sport we all love.

“I want to take the baton from him and if we have to go to the polls I will, but I think we can take football to the next level,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cummings, who served as disciplinary committee member with multiple JFF administrations insisted she joined because of the integrity of the people on Anderson’s team and declared herself as the watchdog of the group.

“I do not put up with foolishness. My integrity is my greatest asset and I do not intend to lose it for anyone and I am on this team because the persons I see have equal integrity as I have.

“The day I am going to lose that transparency, integrity and accountability, I will walk. I will be a whistle-blower. But we are all on the same page and we are serious about what the football needs,” Cummings said.