Referees' rage! - Clarendon, St Catherine officials show red card to JFRA executive
Chairman of the St Catherine Referees Association Oneil Clayton has called on the Franklyn Brown-led Jamaica Football Referees Association (JFRA) administration to resign. Clayton stated that referees islandwide are disgruntled about how their affairs are managed and how referees fees are being utilised.
The St Catherine and Clarendon referees groups recently withdrew their membership from the JFRA, and Clayton accused Brown of not providing adequate services for the fees charged and insisted on a forensic audit and that money owed be paid over to them.
He also questioned the organisation's purpose after FIFA placed the responsibilities of administering and training local elite referees on national associations in 2014. Clayton says that the JFRA is nothing more than a social club that is still not meeting its members' needs.
"We pay $,1500 a month for referee dues, $450 for CUG, $50 for welfare, and $335 for insurance. So a balance of $655 is left. When other people were in charge, that $655 was used for Christmas parties and awards, but we haven't had one in six years. So why pay over this fund?" he asked.
Clayton, a vice-president in the previous administration, led by Courtney Campbell, said that Campbell generated sponsorship to host these functions during his stint so money in the JFRA coffers for that purpose was untouched.
But Brown noted that the decision to discontinue the annual Christmas party was taken by the previous administrators, and instead, funds were allocated to the confederations to host their own parties and awards.
"Central had it one time and KSAFA held theirs twice, and they got their money. Other confeds were supposed to do it, including South Central, but they did not, but the money is there for them to use," he stated.
A $15,000 salary bump given to the two office administrators after the association cried that it had no funds is also a bone of contention for Clayton. Brown, however, countered that the increase was long overdue.
OTHERS MAY PULL AWAY
Clayton warned that the actions of the JFRA would force other parish referee associations to pull away from the organisation, and wants Brown and his executives to resign and an audit to be done before fresh elections are called.
"The JFRA is not a must. You don't have to be a part of the it based on constitution, so pulling away from the JFRA means we will save some funds. My referees (St Catherine) have a problem, so we send a letter; Clarendon is having problems and they are brave enough to send a letter, and there are more letters to come," Clayton said. "They all need to resign, put everything on pause, have a forensic audit, and start afresh. It (JFRA) serves no purpose whatsoever."
Brown is nonetheless ignoring the calls for his resignation and notes that they are in the process of doing an audit. He also hopes to iron out some of the concerns raised.
"I have nothing to resign for and I have no intention of resigning," he stated. "Mr Clayton doesn't have the moral or legal right to question the purpose of the organisation ... the JFRA is of utmost importance. It is very relevant and needed."
"We are in the process of doing an audit soon, which will be supplied to all the members of the JFRA. We hope to iron things out with Clarendon. They have some legitimate concerns, and we are hopeful we can discus and come to a better understanding, and they will want to come back," added Brown. "St Catherine has flatly rejected any meeting with us. But any time St Catherine feel they want to return to the JFRA, the door is wide open."