Thursday, April 25, 2024

Harris bringing a new style


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It is easy?to see why Randy Harris may not be popular among some in the ranks of the Barbados Football Association (BFA).
After reading his address at the recent annual general meeting, I recognized that he is pursuing a line of accountablity which may not have existed in the association before.
It is a new style of governance which may have taken some by surprise and I think he can duly expect some resistance.
In more than 30 years of reporting on local football at every level, I can’t remember any president making public reference to situations that raised eyebrows within the body.
This was uncharted territory in the BFA’s history and members attending the annual general meeting last week Sunday at Deighton Griffith were probably surprised that Harris had the courage to make such revelations in a public forum.
It showed conclusively that he’s not pulling any punches in his efforts to turn a new leaf in the governance of his organization.
He is sure to ruffle some feathers in this initiative but I think he will also win many admirers because it is believed  that such open scrutiny is divorced from other sporting bodies.
True to our nature, we prefer to sweep potentially controversial issues under the carpet.
However, by failing to kill bad practices at the root we allow them to fester and eventually organizations get a bad name.
The BFA president, who has been a football administrator for more than 30 years, is perhaps trying to say enough is enough.
It is possible that he may have been disturbed by certain actions in the past but wasn’t holding any aces in the pack to do anything about it.
As leader of the organization, he would be more conscious now about these things and more diligent to prevent them from happening under his watch as it would reflect directly on his stewardship of the BFA.
He needs, therefore, to institute a safety net with transparency at the helm.
I would caution Harris, however, to follow the association’s constitution to the letter in whatever he does because he might encounter some legal hurdles if he strays from it.
Any attempt to act unilaterally, especially on sensitive issues, would definitely not be in his best interest. For the truth is that he will also be judged harshly by the same high standards he is trying to enact.
No mercy will be shown if his detractors have enough ammunition to corner him. The pendulum can swing both ways and he has to be mindful of this.
Coming out of the meeting, I think it is a good move to put former president George Lascaris back on council.
Lascaris brings knowledge and experience to the table and I am sure his contributions will be invaluable to the football landscape.
Losing the presidency didn’t stop his contribution to the sport and his Barbados Cup project is well established and plays a pivotal role in the development of youth football.
I believe everyone will be just as excited as I am about Lascaris’ return to council.
• Andi Thornhill is an award-winning, experienced freelance journalist.


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