Sport

JFF targets full contract compliance, improved relationship with players

BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
Deputy Sport Editor

Monday, November 13, 2017

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New Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) general secretary Dalton Wint wants to see the day when every national senior representative complies by signing the standard player contract offered by the federation.

The issue of the compulsory player contract, which addresses the terms of players' engagement, has been a sore point with some senior Reggae Boyz, some of whom have refused to sign the document for one reason or another.

Since the development and issue of the last contract, the governing body has struggled to achieve full compliance, which has seen some players representing the country without putting pen to paper.

Wint, who assumed the role of general secretary on November 1 in the new Mike Ricketts-led administration, has vowed that every effort will be made to ensure that players wishing to wear the national colours comply.

“I am tasked with the responsibility to carry out the wishes of the board… when I was a board member, the wish of the board is that all players must sign a contract,” said the outgoing Manchester FA president.

“Players have played before without contracts, but it is my aim to get 100 per cent compliance, and my instruction to the coach would be not to call the player who refuses to sign and call someone else, because it would seem that that player does not wish to play for Jamaica,” Wint added.

He told the Jamaica Observer that based on his best knowledge the contract, which had input from a broad set of stakeholders, was seen to have been crafted along strict lines to protect and serve the interest of both parties.

“My understanding is that the contract was developed by the JFF and players' representatives. A lot of the players, especially those in Europe and the USA, would pass the contract on to their lawyers.

“We make our contract very basic and I can't imagine anything in there that could hurt the players as they are our assets and we can't play with that,” noted Wint, who has recused himself from the JFF board to take up the general secretary post.

An electrical engineer by trade, the Manchester native conceded that there is sometimes an air of mistrust from players of the federation which at times have strained the relationship.

Players of the senior ranks have in the past threatened to withdraw or have withdrawn their services in protest over welfare issues, mostly as it relates to benefits and wage packages.

Wint thinks the relationship between players and the federation is the most important partnership of the organisation, and offers that no effort should be spared in strengthening it.

“I am saying that we have to be transparent and open and be realistic… it's important to sit down and have conversations with your stakeholders, and our most important component in this business is the players and we have to let them know that,” he stated.

“On the other hand, I agree that players must try to maximise their earnings as their professional lifespan can be short, but in all of this the players have to be reasonable and the federation has to be reasonable. We have to be open and, as best as possible, keep them in the loop,” Wint argued.

The new chief administrator, who succeeded Raymond Grant of Portland, notes that the JFF should never promise players what it cannot afford, but should instead always try to be frank with what is tenable or not.

“Don't promise them what you can't deliver. If you can only give them a match fee and a player can't work with that, then we just can't select that player.

“We try to treat them as best we can, but it can't be that you want 100 per cent of what we earn — that cannot be. How could that work? So what would be used to develop the next generation of players? Don't forget that the JFF has a lot of responsibilities, apart from the players, which it has to take care of,” Wint said.

At this time, the general secretary says the federation is up to date with its financial responsibility to players.

“From where I sit, no, we don't owe them,” Wint noted.

“We don't want to be owing people, so we need to negotiate properly and must be reasonable to the players and to the federation,” he ended.

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