Regional

CHALLENGE!

WFA gen sec seeks to end Tomlison's reign as president

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
LLANDILO, Westmoreland

Thursday, November 28, 2019

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LLANDILO, Westmoreland — Citing a long list of ills that have befallen the Westmoreland Football Association, Devon Maxwell, the general secretary of the association, is set to challenge long- serving p resident Everton Tomlinson when the elections are held next month at the football offices at Llandilo Sports Complex in the parish.

Nominations which opened last Friday, closes tomorrow at 5:00 pm for the elections that are set for December 13, when a number of positions will be filled, including first vice-president, after Donald Gordon decided that he would not be standing for election.

Maxwell, who has served football in the parish for over 15 years, and was elected as general secretary in 2013, has accused the president of being “autocratic, not having any faith in the executive,” as well as failing to fill positions that have been vacated for various reasons.

Tomlinson, one of the longest-serving FA presidents in the island, serving over 17 years, has fired back with his own set of allegations — including having to remove Maxwell as the League Director — after “several discrepancies came up including players being allowed to compete despite not being properly transferred”.

“We have been operating without a General Secretary for the last three years,” Tomlinson told the Jamaica Observer West earlier this week.

“Mr Maxwell has not even attended meetings the last three years after I removed him from the league director's position and asked him to concentrate on the job as the general secretary,” Tomlinson noted.

He said his executive has managed to make serious headways nonetheless and pointed to the construction of an office at the Llandilo property, the procurement of a lease and flood lights at the field where all games in the Major League were played last season.

“Leaders must lead,” Tomlinson stressed, as he hinted that Maxwell might not have fulfilled all the conditions to be a candidate, but added however, that he would be allowed to contest the elections.

“I have no intentions of barring him from running,” said the man who has survived several attempts to remove him over the years.

Maxwell has denied that he was removed from the league director's position because of any discrepancies, and pointed the finger at Tomlinson, who he said “lacked transparency” and has failed to replace members of the executive who have left for various reasons.

“He wants to do everything by himself, he wants to be the treasurer, the general secretary, the president and league director,” Maxwell argued.

He bemoaned that there was just one league in the entire parish, adding that the game “has been taken out of the communities”.

“We don't have a promotion and demotion as we have one league and last season we had just eight teams playing against each other just once,” he noted.

The general secretary blamed Tomlinson for what he said was “the older teams have stopped playing football in Westmoreland and we have all these new clubs who have no foundation or structure”.

He charged that all the games in the Major League, as well as the Westmoreland clubs who participated in the Western Confederation Super League, were played at the Llandilo complex.


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