‘I do not see it as a problem’
Chung dismisses suggestions that he is too preoccupied with other responsibilities to give JFF the attention it needs
General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Dennis Chung has defended his performance in the role despite a number of travelling dilemmas for a number of national teams since he stepped into the position just over six months ago....
General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Dennis Chung has defended his performance in the role despite a number of travelling dilemmas for a number of national teams since he stepped into the position just over six months ago.
Chung has insisted that the JFF was a damaged brand before he assumed the role of general secretary, and he believes that they have made significant strides since his appointment. However, he pointed out that there are some archaic systems in place at the federation and that they are going to need time to make personnel changes and implement new systems.
“We have made significant progress over the last year, and we are getting people to be attracted to us from a sponsors point of view. But we have a lot of legacy issues, and the structure and human capacity of the organisation are real problems.
“It is not something you can fix like that because there are issues and labour laws to consider. So it will take a while to make cultural changes,” said Chung.
He argued that until they fully overhaul the systems and operations of the JFF, they would continue to experience these sorts hiccups. However, he expects that the federation will emerge and become more efficient and reliable in the long run, and those changes have already started, he said.
“We have changed out quite a few staff, and if you speak to the FIFA consultant, he will tell you there are positive changes happening. We have brought in some new people, and we are seeing some results from that. But we still have systems in place that are very archaic that we need to change, and we are making changes to that,” he said. “People looking from outside will want everything to happen now, but you have to carefully plot your way forward because when you have changes happening, you have people invested in the current conditions and will rebel against it, but you have to keep your eyes on the prize.”
BEST CORPORATE GOVERNANCE RECORDS
He compared his current situation at the JFF with his early periods as National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) chairman but noted that just a few years later, the NSWMA has one of the best corporate governance records.
He also dismissed suggestions that he is too preoccupied with his other responsibilities to give the federation the attention it needs.
“I do not see it as a problem. I can solve that by leaving the JFF,” he mused. “But it is not an issue. We have made some good progress over the last few months, so I do not see it as an issue,” he stated.
The latest administrative blunder came with the under-15 boys, who were pulled from a tournament in Sweden because of late visa applications, for which Chung said they had ‘no excuse’.
However, he insists that most of the other incidents were not a result of incompetence on the behalf of the federation but mainly due to bureaucratic red tape at the various embassies.
He added also that the increase in sponsorship support in recent times is an indication of the renewed confidence sponsors now have in the JFF.
“For the first time in 10 years, we have a tax compliance certificate. We have been paying our debts, the (Horace Burrell) Centre for Excellence is up and running and it has saved us more than $2 million in hotel fees.
“We have sponsors back on board like Grace, Courts, Irie FM. We have increased sponsorship from Wisynco and increased participation from Stewart’s Automotive.
“I have been at the JFF seven months, which is a short period of time, but we have made progress, and we are taking our time to do what we need to do. But where we are coming from, it is a massive change,” he stated.