The Jamaica Football Federation’s issues with the Reggae Girlz and who should coach them are not yet over with the Sunday night announcement that veteran coach, Lorne Donaldson has quit.

According to reports in the media, Donaldson left his post as Reggae Girlz assistant coach with immediate effect.

His resignation letter suggests the reason for the resignation falls in line with an earlier parting of the ways, by his boss, Hue Menzies.

"This decision is primarily based on the questionable integrity and lack of professionalism within the leadership of the JFF," said Donaldson, who is also executive director of coaching at Real Colorado Soccer.

Menzies had resigned, suggesting the JFF were not professional in handling contract negotiations.

Donaldson, who was seen as frontrunner to take Menzies place had said he would not take the head coach job unless things changed.

Now he wants nothing to do with the job completely.

The resignation also comes days after the JFF announced an interim head coach appointment for Hubert Busby, who had been the Reggae Girlz goalkeeping coach.

There was also the appointment of long-time Boys’ Town coach Andrew Price as an assistant, as the Reggae Girlz take on the second round of Olympic Qualifying next month.

Donaldson’s letter did not make mention of the fact that an assistant was hired while he was substantively in that role but his last tour with the women’s programme was to hold a training camp for under-17 and under-20 Reggae Girlz last month.

Before that Donaldson took up head coaching during the Reggae Girlz successful first round of Olympic qualifying, while Menzies took time off.

Here is Donaldson’s full resignation letter

Dear Mr. [Michael] Ricketts:

After careful consideration, I must immediately tender my resignation from all duties associated with the Jamaica Football Federation women’s program. This decision is primarily based on the questionable integrity and lack of professionalism within the leadership of the JFF.

I’m honored to have served Jamaica’s football community for over 45 years and will continue to do so in many capacities. However, I will not in clear conscience, continue to work for an organization that blatantly disregard the sacrifices of the coaching staff and the Reggae Girlz. As coaches, we have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges, but jointly we successfully led our women’s senior team to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup in history. This was a tremendous feat and one for which we should all be incredibly proud.

I thank the JFF, Hue Menzies and my peers, Reggae Girlz Ambassador, Cedella Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation who were instrumental in bringing financial support and reviving awareness through social media about the plight of the Reggae Girlz. I also thank members of the Reggae Girlz Foundation, our many sponsors and the Jamaican supporters worldwide for their unwavering support.

Most importantly, I sincerely thank all members of the Reggae Girlz teams for their dedication and commitment while overcoming adversity in challenging conditions as without them these accomplishments would not have been possible.

Jamaica Football Federation president, Michael Ricketts, held nothing back recently when he slammed former Reggae Girlz head coach Hue Menzies for being unprofessional.

Menzies, the coach who led the Reggae Girlz to a historic World Cup Qualification earlier this year, quit the team via the media recently, citing numerous problems with remuneration and issues with getting information about a new contract, which elapsed earlier this year.

Ricketts, however, said Menzies has been less than truthful about his issues with the JFF and pointed out that the nature of his resignation was not inkeeping with proper protocol.

“If I were to say the things that Menzies have done, it would cause all of us major embarrassment. We’ll refrain from saying anything else; just to say that Menzies up to now has not yet said to the JFF that here’s my letter of resignation, but he tells the world and every single media house that he has resigned so we take it that he has resigned so we move on,” said Ricketts on Jamaican radio station, Hitz 92 FM.

Menzies had missed the first stage of the Reggae Girlz’ Olympic qualifiers earlier this year, saying he would not coach the team until the JFF resolved their issues with him.

According to Ricketts, his organization were only made aware that this was the case, again through the media.

“Just before the start of the preliminary round of the World Cup Qualifiers, Minister (Olivia Grange) and I were on the phone and got in contact with the coach to have a three-way discussion. Menzies said to us that he could not come to the first stage of the qualifiers because he had a board meeting to attend. The next day Menzies was on the radio saying that he was not coming because the JFF owed him money,” said the JFF president.

The announcement of a new coach, the JFF has said, will take place before the end of the year.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says his organization will be announcing a new head coach for the Reggae Girlz in a matter of days.

According to Ricketts, the JFF’s technical committee, which has the prevue of selecting a coach, will make its decision after discussions with stakeholders on Tuesday.

According to Ricketts, the decision will be made to replace former head coach Hue Menzies, who announced his intention to leave the programme via the media more than a week ago, despite not receiving a formal resignation.

“We haven’t gotten anything official,” said Ricketts.

“But he has gone public [with his resignation], so we just have to take it that he will not be a part of the programme,” he said.

Menzies announced his intention to leave the programme after four years, citing a lack of communication from the JFF regarding a new contract that had expired in August, as well as unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

Menzies had refused to coach the team until all unpaid monies were sent his way.

The former coach’s stance meant he missed the first round of Olympic Qualifiers with the Reggae Girlz.

Those qualifiers still went well under the guidance of assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, with the final round of qualifiers set to take place from January 28 to February 9, 2020.

Donaldson’s performance is reported to have made him frontrunner for the job, however, the assistant has hinted at reservations about taking the new post.

Reggae Girlz assistant coach Lorne Donaldson believes the women’s programme in Jamaica has taken a hit with the departure of World Cup qualifying coach, Hue Menzies.

Menzies, on Tuesday, announced his intention to leave the programme after disputes with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) seemed not to have a resolution in sight.

According to Menzies, the JFF has not paid money due to him in his contract, failed to communicate with him regarding a new contract after his expired in August, and have not reimbursed him for expenses incurred on the job.

Donaldson, himself, has said he would be unwilling to take up the top post, coaching the Girlz, unless there were guarantees that some of the issues Menzies spoke about were addressed.

“Menzies not being around puts a hole in the programme; the staff is really bummed because we did a lot of work within the last five years, some of it is work done behind the scenes that people don't know about, and we scraped and fought with these kids. So Hue not being around is a big setback for this programme,” said Donaldson.

The executive director of coaching at Real Colorado Soccer also believes there is a lot of uncertain surrounding the programme with just a couple of months to go before the Reggae Girlz take on the final round of Olympic Qualification.

“The crucial stage of the Olympic qualifiers is coming up, but we already messed that up because we had a game against the USA and we didn't take the game. We would have played the number one team in the world and we didn't take the game, so all this stuff is a setback for us,” said Donaldson.

“Now we missed the FIFA window; no games and I don't know when we are going to have any friendly games or camps because everything seems to be very difficult. I know Costa Rica wants to play us in January, and that's kind of late, but Costa Rica is still waiting for them to respond, so I don't know,” he said.

Still, Donaldson believes there is much promise in the Reggae Girlz programme and wants to ensure that that promise is fulfilled.

“We are going to concentrate on the players because we actually owe it to them. [Hubert] Busby and I, we made a commitment to some of the parents and players for the U-20s and U-17s,” said Donaldson.

“Again, it is going to be difficult trying to do the U-17s and the U-20s because nobody seems like they are interested on that side. There is interest elsewhere, but we have to find the right people who want to see women's football succeed in Jamaica. Right now it is not happening,” he said.

Assistant coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz, Lorne Donaldson, does not want to step into the vacancy left by the departing Hue Menzies if women’s football in the country is treated the same way it has been.

Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary, Dalton Wint, says he has received nothing in writing from former Reggae Girlz coach, Hue Menzies.

Despite numerous successes in recent times, Reggae Girlz head coach, Hue Menzies has decided he can no longer continue in his capacity after a protracted dispute did not seem to be coming to an amicable solution.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts has described as “another positive for Jamaica’s football’, the fact that Khadijah 'Bunny' Shaw has been named among the world’s top 100 female footballers by the UK Guardian.

A Jamaica Under-22 team will take on Japan at the Transcosmos Stadium in Nagasaki in a friendly scheduled for December 28, for the Kirin Challenge Cup 2019.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will need a minimum of US$2million a year to fund its objectives of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2021.

Theodore Whitmore, head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz said that Jamaica couldn’t afford to be complacent now that the team has climbed up the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Wednesday.

Some of Jamaica’s disgruntled Reggae Girlz have begun to receive a portion of their payments from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), money that came due on August 30.

 

Several members of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz history-making World Cup squad including Bunny Shaw, Havana Solaun, Toriana Patterson, Allyson Swaby and Lauren Silver, have declared that they will not play another match for Jamaica until they are paid money they are owed from their world cup campaign.

Each has posted a No Pay No Play poster on their Instagram pages stating their position.

Under a banner declaring No Pay, No Play, the girls posted:

“This is an issue that goes simply beyond “getting paid.” It’s about the girls following in our footsteps. It’s about leaving something better off than when you found it. We signed contracts and have yet to be paid.

“The Reggae Girlz are the first Caribbean team ever to qualify for a World Cup. The hours of hard work and dedication put in by this team doesn’t have a monetary value. It’s about so much more than money. Women’s soccer has taken a back seat for too long. It’s time to take a stand.

“For this reason, I, along with my teammates won't be participating in any tournaments until being paid,” the post said.

In response, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts said he does not know what would have triggered this latest protest from the Reggae Girls. The players are owed US$120,000, Ricketts said, and half that amount was transferred through Sagicor Bank last week.

In the meantime, team manager Jean Nelson had been in communication with the players informing them that some money had been transferred to their accounts ad that the balance would be paid once they received US$750,000 earned at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup the end of September.

FIFA, Ricketts said, is to pay over that sum at the end of the month.

However, the players insist they have not been paid.

“My teammates and I have not received any money. Our agreement ended on August 30 and today is September 2 and there is nothing pending,” Lauren Silver confirmed, indicating that the players had formed their own union in anticipation of something like this happening.

“We as a group just always wanted to have a line of communication open with each other. Like most companies have a union but since it was a repetitive action, we as a team have been trying to work together more.”

She did acknowledge that Jean Nelson did communicate with them but the bottom line is that they still have not been paid.

“Jean has communicated with us to the best of her ability but at the end of the day she is not responsible for our salary,” she said.

 

 

Head coach of Jamaica’s U23 team Donovan Duckie has tendered his resignation at the request of the Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts.

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