Sports Minister’s goal is to have former Reggae Boyz ace back in the helm
Theodore Whitmore resigned late on Friday night from his role as head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz.
The shock resignation has resulted in Jamaica Sports Minister Olivia Grange reportedly taking steps to get Whitmore back in his role, with plans to set up a meeting with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the former player.
Whitmore was unavailable for comment and it is believed that the reason he quit is partly over the lack of progress following proposed meetings to discuss an improved contract. Whitmore allegedly resigned with immediate effect rather than turn up for yesterday’s meeting.
He initially returned to the role as interim coach following the sacking of Winfried Schäfer in 2016, and last year took on the mantle of head coach where he has since guided the Boyz into FIFA world’s top 50. He also helped Jamaica finish runners up last year in both the Caribbean Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Whitmore set a month’s notice in February for the JFF to increase his salary, just two months after he was awarded a new contract of US$3,000 per month – which was considerably less than the monthly fee of US$45,000 German coach Schäfer received.
And to add to the mix, the JFF have been dealing with the online rants and demands to be part of the set-up from Craig Butler, the stepfather and agent of talented midfielder Leon Bailey,
However, JFF president Michael Ricketts had recently denied any rift with Whitmore over his salary and said last year: “We had an extended discussion and I want to make it clear that the very first words that Mr Whitmore said were that ‘my meeting with you Mr President has nothing to do with money.’
“I want to make it clear and for those persons who have misled the Jamaican people about issues with Whitmore and the JFF, this president and this new JFF, we have no issue at all with Whitmore.”
Whitmore’s ultimatum over his salary seems fair enough following the JFF’s recent lucrative shirt sponsorship with Umbro and their new digital TV channel of JFF.live as the commercial aspect thrives.
The likelihood of Whitmore returning to the post of head coach seems high given the fact that he has consistently stepped into the shoes of axed coaches.
The 45-year-old was a popular player, excelling in midfield for the Boyz, and had generally been getting the best out of the up-and-coming squad – except for last month’s dire home draw against Antigua & Barbuda.
His demands to be given financial recognition for his endeavours seems fair, and should the JFF overlook Whitmore then they will be forced to pay much more for a coach from overseas or even bringing in Butler or one of his coaches from Kingston’s Phoenix All Stars.
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