Frustrated Powell quits Montego Bay United
TUCKER, St James — Unless there are immediate and drastic changes to the structure of the way the Premier League does its business, Orville Powell, the architect behind the success of Red Stripe Premier League champions Montego Bay United, says he will have nothing to do with it.
At a press conference held at the club's WespoW Park complex yesterday, Powell announced that with "immediate effect" he would be stepping down as president of the club.
Powell had hinted at his decision minutes after Montego Bay United whipped Warehouse 5-2 to take the Premier League title at the National Stadium less than a month ago, but told the Jamaica Observer that regardless of the outcome of the season, he would have made the same decision.
Before they were even in the semi-finals, Powell said he met with the entire squad and the management and told them of his decision.
"Too many times already I have spoken out, written to and about the governing bodies — be it the local MPs, the Parish Council, Chamber of Commerce, PFAJ, JFF and PLCA — about their mediocre approach to the players' lives. This is what it's about, the players' lives and that of their families which I happen to take seriously.
"I'm tired of writing and wasting time for words to fall on deaf ears... so my decision is to leave, to leave the madness of doing things the same way time and time again with the hope that it will change," Powell said in a written statement that was handed out to the media.
Powell, who leaves the island today for Brazil for the FIFA World Cup, says he is not certain when he is coming back. "I have links there and may stay for a while," he told the Jamaica Observer.
"When there is a lack of policy, little adherence to defined standards, lack of forward-thinkers or of forward-planning to determine the best relationships for sponsorships, transparency and accountability, it speaks to poor management... it speaks to madness and I refuse to be aligned with that, therefore I decided to demit office," the statement went on.
Powell complained about the lack of democracy in the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), which runs the Premier League.
Powell also repeated his longtime grouse that the St James club had not attracted any support from the many business entities in the city.
Additionally, he said the "uncertainty of the football" environment with the impending franchise system would mean that the club would not be viable.
Meanwhile, a committee led by club directors Donald Martin and Sandra Christie will continue to oversee the club and make preparations for its participation in the Red Stripe Premier League next season.
Christie, the club's general manager for the past four years, will be at the helm of the operations and told the Observer plans were in order for the club to move smoothly ahead.
This past season three coaches had helped to lead MBU to the title — Donovan Duckie, Hugh Solomon and Dr Dean Weatherly, whom completed the season with the team.
Christie would not say who they were looking at as coach, but hinted they might be looking overseas again. "Remember now MBU never restricts itself to just Jamaica."
Brazillian Neider dos Santos was the first head coach for the team after they were promoted three years ago and he lasted until early in the second season before resigning and was replaced by Weatherly.