Ten football clubs invited to participate in the Khashif and Shanghai (K&S) tournament have joined with Alpha United to form a committee called the Clubs for Negotiation (CFN) and their immediate aim is addressing their concerns over the upcoming tournament.
Following a meeting held on Friday between co-director of the organisation, Aubrey “Shanghai” Major and eight members of the CFN, it has been requested by the K&S Organisation that the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) act as mediator for communication between the two entities.
The CFN is headed by a three-man committee comprising President of the Fruta Conquerors, Marlon Cole, coach of the Seawall FC, Andrew Thom, and coach for the Buxton United FB Club, Lyndon France.
Cole will act as chairman of the committee.
The committee yesterday held its second meeting at the Waterchris Hotel.
The meeting was attended by executives from the clubs, including President of Alpha United, Odinga Lumumba.
“We, several clubs, have had some disagreement with the tournament and we have put a group together. We have authorized a three-man committee to represent us, and we have set out some minimum and some maximum standards for them [K&S] to agree to,” Lumumba said.
Cole related that the clubs have come together to present a united voice in their demands from the K&S Organisation as it pertains to the staging of the tournament.
The CFN is asking that
The CFN is asking that there be negotiation on the issue of participation fees for the tournament, that 50% of the money be paid in advance, and that there be an increase in prize money awarded for the tournament.
France stated that when the clubs met with Major in the hope of engaging him in talks over concerns of the body, Major, who is also the Organising Secretary of the GFF, said that his organization was not prepared to meet with the clubs without the involvement of the GFF.
”The CFN handed to Mr. Aubrey Major, a hand written letter and we had with him what can be described as a semi-formal meeting, with a view of further and formally engaging the [K&S] Organisation on our concerns.
“Mr. Major indicated to us that his organisation is prepared to engage us with the GFF as facilitator and mediator,” France said.
The CFN has since issued a letter, signed by all 11 clubs, addressed to the GFF Secretary, Noel Adonis, requesting the federation facilitate a meeting between the CNF and the K&S directors.
France said that they were not ready to release the identities of all of the clubs that are on board with the committee.
He, however, emphasized that the clubs will be backing whatever decision is made by the representative three-man executive team.
When asked what will be the outcome if the demands of CNF are not met, France responded that the committee will not be looking at that possibility at this time.
“The committee, CFN, has given the three of us mandate to go forward with the meeting and based on their [K&S] response then CFN will meet again to make a decision on the way forward.
“But we are keeping on the positive, we are not contemplating what will happen if there are no negotiations, there will be negotiations,” France said.
Cole added that the clubs are an integral part of the product that is the K&S tournament and therefore he is sure that a compromise can be met as both parties main concern is the success of the tournament.
Lumumba had publicly voiced his displeasure with the prize monies being awarded at the tournament in relation to what he said the organizers were raking in.
Lumumba had subsequently demanded that the prize monies be increased, and had indicated that his team, the defending champions Alpha United, would not be willing to participate in the tournament unless this issue was rectified to a satisfactory level.
K&S responded by announcing on Thursday that Alpha United had been booted from the tournament. Cole also conveyed that getting Alpha United back in the tournament will also be on the agenda of the CNF.
“Alpha has to be in the tournament. Alpha without a doubt is the team to beat and we don’t want to hear that when a team wins they only won because Alpha United was not in the tournament,” Cole said.