Pres­i­dent’s res­ig­na­tion not the end of NZF up­heaval

Herald on Sunday - - SPORT - Michael Burgess u@mike­burgess99

Deryck Shaw’s res­ig­na­tion will be far from the end of the mat­ter for New Zealand Foot­ball.

Dis­sat­is­fac­tion lingers among the fed­er­a­tions and other stake­hold­ers. The Her­ald on Sun­day un­der­stands at least four of the seven fed­er­a­tions are ag­i­tat­ing for fur­ther change, and that could be enough to force a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing in the next few months.

That could mean all the cur­rent board mem­bers would be forced to stand for re-elec­tion, in­clud­ing in­terim pres­i­dent Phil Barry.

Shaw’s de­par­ture on Fri­day was a sig­nif­i­cant step. As pres­i­dent of NZF since June 2015, he had in­tended — and wanted — to con­tinue, de­spite all of the tur­moil and trou­ble of the past six months.

Shaw was con­fi­dent he was the right per­son to lead NZF into the fu­ture and im­ple­ment the 22 rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined in the re­view com­pleted by em­ploy­ment lawyer Phillipa Muir.

While there was prob­a­bly a case for sta­bil­ity, it was never re­ally re­al­is­tic. Too much dam­age had been done, and in the end, Shaw had to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that.

It’s be­lieved there was also a split on the board; while Shaw had his al­lies and those who favoured the sta­tus quo, there were oth­ers who pushed for change.

The fi­nal straw was the res­ig­na­tion of coun­cil­lor Jon Or­mond last Tues­day. While Or­mond had not been on the board for most of the pe­riod un­der re­view — he was elected at the end of May this year at the NZF Congress — his exit was a sym­bolic step.

In a state­ment sent to the board, Or­mond called Shaw’s po­si­tion “un­ten­able” and ul­ti­mately he was proven right.

Pres­sure will now go on Shaw’s al­lies on the board, es­pe­cially Phil Barry, Paul Cochrane and Scott Moran.

It’s un­der­stood they have been Shaw’s big­gest sup­port­ers and their tenures en­com­passed the mostly sham­bolic reign of for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive Andy Martin. There also needs to be de­ci­sions made — quickly — about the fu­ture of the na­tional coaches ap­pointed by for­mer tech­ni­cal direc­tor An­dreas Heraf and en­dorsed by Martin.

While ru­mours have long per­sisted in foot­ball cir­cles, it’s now been con­firmed the ap­point­ment process was a sham and the out­come seemed pre-or­dained.

That was con­firmed by Muir in her re­port, when she said the orig­i­nal copy of Heraf’s Hun­dred Day Plan con­tained the names of coaches be­sides all the va­can­cies, but those names were taken out when the plan was pre­sented to the board. Months later, all the names on that orig­i­nal draft were sub­se­quently ap­pointed.

With the lack of in­tegrity in the process, that needs to be re­viewed while there is still time, and it’s early in the World Cup cy­cle.

Given ev­ery­thing that has gone on, it feels like the only way the game can find its verve again is on the field. If that’s to hap­pen, the best coaches need to be in charge.

If that’s the in­cum­bents, fine, but reap­ply­ing for their roles seems the only course of ac­tion.

There also needs to be de­ci­sions made about the fu­ture of the na­tional coaches ap­pointed by Heraf and en­dorsed by Martin.

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