Mon | Oct 23, 2017

All is not well at FC Reno

Published:Wednesday | April 6, 2016 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
FC Reno's head coach Michael Graham (left) and technical director Wendell Downswell.

Western Bureau:

Following their narrow escape from relegation in the 2015-16 Red Stripe Premier League, FC Reno head coach Michael Graham fired some stinging criticism at the attitude of club officials, which he says is the reason for the former champions yearly struggle to maintain a presence in the nation's top league.

Graham told The Gleaner, after his team's 2-1 to UWI FC on Sunday, that the plan to return to being a force in local football circles and to once again battle for the title must never begin with the coach or the players.

"That conversation must begin with the club's executive. That winning mentality must start with those at the top and filter down to the coaches and the players," he said.

Reno struggle

FC Reno have been in a state of flux over the past five seasons, creating a situation where they are either relegated from the league or struggling to avoid the drop, something they have successfully managed twice in successive seasons.

But for Graham and Wendell Downswell, the club's technical director, not much will change come next season if matters having to do with the club's well-being are not addressed in the boardroom.

"How can a club survive when there are no serious plans on how to do so? This is the current state of affairs at FC Reno. If it weren't for Mr Downswell and I, we would all be thinking about the lower leagues, if any, at the moment," stated Graham.

He said acquisition of gears boots and ball, among other needed pieces of equipment necessary for the club to carry out training and match-day necessities, are all being sourced by him and Downswell, noting that they receive no help from those who hold "positions" in the club.

"Yet these are some of our fiercest critics when the team fails to win. The fact is, unless issues at the executive level are fixed, the club is doomed to failure," Graham said.

"This is a case in which it shows how a club should not be managed," added Graham.

FC Reno were the first club to win three Premier League titles, the last of which came in the 1995 season during a period of dominance. They also won titles in 1990 and again in 1991.

The Westmoreland-based club are also winners of three national knockout titles, Winning the now named Flow Champions Cup in 2014. But since then, they have endured two seasons of utter chaos, resulting in near relegation.