There is no doubt Randy Harris has football at heart and could possibly win a third straight term as Barbados Football Association (BFA) president when the Annual General Meeting takes place on March 22nd at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center, says Adrian Mapp.
But Mapp, who is running for the post of first vice-president believes that while Harris, who is also vice-president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and president of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), focuses his energy at the regional and international level, local football is lacking proper management.
An educator by profession, Mapp insisted that there was a need for someone “to hold down the fort” locally to ensure Barbados’ football is managed properly
And he believes he is the right man for the job.
Mapp said his interest had nothing to do with politics, but was centered around what he could offer towards the development of local football, which he noted is currently lacking in two key areas – the operational and financial sides.
“Something must change, we can’t continue to do the same thing over and over. If you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, you got to be crazy. Randy is representing Barbados at CONCACAF and FIFA, but somebody must concentrate on making Barbados’ football better. If he is concentrating his energy there to assist us, then somebody must be on the ground to actually push the Bajan football and that is not happening right now.
“Bajan football is lacking and there is no doubt about that. The overall product we are giving to the public is not what it’s supposed to be and I believe that I can help in that area. I can certainly help in the overall functioning of the BFA because I think the major problem is the organisation and financial side of it and that is something I am good at,” Mapp said.
BFA board members and delegates from various clubs are expected to cast their votes for the top positions of president, first and second vice-president, senior and junior assistant secretary, treasurer and assistant treasurer and five-floor members.
Contesting the position of first vice-president for a second time having lost the first time around in 2016 to Harris’s number two-man Captain Al Walcott, Mapp is adamant that money funded to the BFA from FIFA could be better spent.
He explained that the BFA is operating at a loss in certain areas, including the drinks bar located at its Wildey St. Michael, AstroTurf headquarters.
“The BFA office is not run as it should, it is not run as a business and so the customer service is not there. The overall planning which should be done by the executive committee is not there and even if it is, it’s not followed through.
“All the money from FIFA seems to be spent on fees, the national teams going abroad and salaries. So basically, what we are saying is that football is making nothing. Apart from that, they are making losses,” Mapp maintained.
“I have seen reports that say they have been losses as much as $30, 000 over a year from the bar. Now if that ain’t management something wrong. If you see in one month you made a loss of $5, 000, you can’t do the same thing because it ain’t making no sense. So if you have five or six people in the bar you have to pay and only three people [customers] going to the bar, then it doesn’t make sense having five people to serve three. So simple little things like these can make a difference.”
If elected to serve on the BFA executive, Mapp, a former president of the Barbados Secondary Schools Football League said he would advocate bringing all football; school league, masters and women, together.
In addition, he expressed concern that the Premier League has not generated the kind of interest needed and was time to take the football back into the community. In the meantime, he said the AstroTurf could be utilised for national teams training, youth finals and other major tournaments.
“The school league, the masters, the women have something to offer. These are groups that have a massive following and yet the only thing we concentrate on is the Premier League. The Premier League is bringing nobody to the turf,” Mapp pointed out.
“The best thing might be to put it (football) back to the people and then once it catches the following bring it back to the Turf….Clubs could set up stalls, so if you have two clubs a night setting up stalls that could benefit them. Another night, two other clubs could do the same thing but when you have a following then you could bring them all up to the Turf and get people to pay to come in,” Mapp said.