Chung on target
Incoming JFF Gen Sec Chung scores with respected football executives
CHUNG...expected to bring a wealth of experience to JFF general secretary post

Two respected football administrators have thrown their support behind the move to hire financial expert Dennis Chung as the next general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Reports say that the JFF is preparing to name Chung, a former Jamaica Cycling Federation general secretary, as a replacement for the embattled Dalton Wint, who tendered his resignation from the role earlier this year after an ultimatum by Jamaica's Reggae Boyz ahead of a Concacaf Nations League game in July.

Chung, who is a former CEO of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, has held influential positions in a number of local organisations, including JMMB Group, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, Petrojam, and National Integrity Action. He is also a past president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica. He recently resigned from his post as CEO of Supreme Ventures, effective October 31.

Carvel Stewart, chairman of Harbour View Football Club and vice-chairman of the now-defunct Premier League Clubs Association, says Chung would bring much-needed professionalism to the role in light of past disputes between Wint and players which became public knowledge through leaked audio recordings.

"Generally, I don't see it as a negative that they [JFF] intend to engage Mr Chung," Stewart told the Jamaica Observer. "I see it as a step up from where we were before. He has established himself, more or less, nationally as a leader in the private sector and, to some extent, the public sector. I would hope that he brings to the table the proper management of the JFF organisation and is able to undertake his responsibilities with clear knowledge of what the requirements are, that is the requirement of the JFF articles, those required by the Caribbean Football Union, Concacaf, and Fifa. Once he becomes au fait with those, he should be able to dispense his responsibilities fully."

That sentiment is echoed by former JFF President Tony James, who says that Chung comes highly recommended for the role based on his equivalent experience in business administration and sports administration.

James says that the JFF will only benefit from moving to a paid administrator, who can be dismissed, if needed, based on performance.

"It shouldn't be a political general secretary who you can't really fire," James told the Observer. "When you're going to call him a general secretary it means he should also be an administrator who is competent in finances. That is ideal for what the JFF needs, someone who understands good governance principles," he said.

James describes the JFF's current structure as corrupt, in that it is not functioning as it should and needs correcting.

"When we speak of a corrupt structure in the JFF, we are not necessarily speaking about people stealing money. What we're saying is they have a political headlock on the JFF and because of that political headlock, most of their decisions are now tainted politically. Once all the stakeholders are to be involved in the decisions and a few are making the decisions, then those few are easily corrupted and they have to maintain that political headlock.

"This will help them to correct that structure if Mr Chung is strong enough to stand up to the political part of the JFF and just deal with the administrative part of the JFF," the veteran football executive asserted.

Critics of the appointment will point to Chung's lack of experience in football administration, despite his years in sport, albeit in another discipline. But James says his business acumen is critical to effectively perform his duties.

"This JFF administration has handled more money than all other JFF administrations combined in its history. So it needs a competent administrator who will underpin and support a board. The board makes directions and he just implements and carries out those directions with good governance principles," the businessman noted.

Both Stewart and James admit that they don't know Chung on a personal level but say, while it is not certain his appointment will be successful, it is worth giving him a chance in the role. They point to his integrity in carrying out his duties in previous roles as support for this.

JAMES...this will help them to correct that structure if Mr Chung is strong enough to stand up to the political part of the JFF
STEWART...generally, I don't see it as a negative that they intend to engage Mr Chung (Photos: Observer file)
BY RACHID PARCHMENT Digital sports coordinator parchmentr@jamaicaobserver.com

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