ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Former president of Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Mervyn “MR” Richards, said he has been asked by a number of clubs and players to consider tossing his hat in the ring for the association’s presidency elections which are constitutionally due this year.
Richards, who headed the association from 2006 to 2009 before he was defeated by now president and former national player Everton “Batow” Gonsalves, did not reveal whether or not he will contest the elections. He said, however, that clubs are now realising it was a mistake to have removed him in the first instance.
“I have been asked by a couple of my supporters of trying to make a run for it again because things, in their opinion, was a lot better then and for the players, too, who have a bit on influence on their clubs. They have been asking me also if I would decide to run again. They all know they made a mistake and they all made a change for the wrong reasons,” he said.
Asked what he would chance during his first few days in office, Richards said there is not much to change, as the plan being utilised by the present executive is one that he had put in place before his exit.
He said, however, he would, this time around, take a serious look at providing some form of financial assistance to the clubs.
“There is not much I would change really. To be quite honest, the way things are going now is really from my plans (because) nothing much has changed really, but another thing that we really wanted to implement that we didn’t get a chance to do was to ensure that the clubs get some gate receipts and we would have done the same thing that FIFA would have to the association in order for them to receive some form of financial assistance,” he said.
“They would have to indicate, of course, what they were going to do with the kind of money they receive from the gate receipts because if you look at it, the person who sells tickets makes a little money. The person who picks up the money at the gate, they get money. The person who prepares the pitch, marks the field and cuts the grass; the referees, they all get something except the players,” Richards added.
Two other potential candidates, Keithroy Black and Veron “Epilus” Edwards, have publicly indicated a desire to contest the elections as well.