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Chin fills huge void at Waterhouse

Audley Boyd, Assistant Editor - Sport

ENTERTAINMENT show producer Ricardo 'Ricky' Chin has taken up the long-vacated position as president of Waterhouse Football Club.

"It took me a couple months to decide ... last week I decided to take it up," noted Chin, owner of Ricardo Chin Production Services Company Limited, which has been involved in the presentation of live events such as Reggae Sumfest, Digicel Rising Stars and the Red Stripe Live Production at Sabina Park recently.

The show producer is, however, no stranger to sports. He has been charged with producing the entertainment package at football matches on occasions, even working behind the scenes with the Arnett Gardens management when they won back-to-back Premiership titles at the turn of the decade.

He's also a self-acclaimed 'sportsperson' who "played some corner league football, tried cricket" and now looks forward to golf, only that he's "waiting for his club to reach Jamaica".

No wonder this latest move into directorship at Drewsland for the 50-year-old businessman.

Chin admitted contemplating over the Premier League club's presidency for months, having been approached by Bruce Bicknell, the Waterhouse FC chairman.

Since Peter Hibbert resigned early in the first half of the just-concluded season, the club's general secretary, Felix Porter, had been acting in the position.

A team with many gifted players that has won the Premier League on two occasions, Chin states it will be "challenging" to recapture championship form.

"A Waterhouse comes with it's fair share of challenges. It's how well we'll be able to manoeuvre that (challenge)," he noted.

Speaking of the group with which he'll be working closest, he noted of the management team: "I'm just getting to know them. I need to know everybody's role and responsibilities before I can make a proper assessment of that situation. But based on what I've seen ... it's pretty good.

Sky's the limit

The quality of the members of the executive and the work they do is the foundation. How we can improve, or do we need to reassign to get the outfit working at its optimum are other things we will find out later.

"The sky's the limit. We must give a lot of respect to Paul Young, his level of discipline and all. It goes well with the leadership and as long as the things they've been doing continue, then things should get better."

He added: "You've to respect the chairman, he's been a tower of strength. The community respects him and should back the team 100 per cent."

Commenting on their choice, Bicknell said: "He's a well-respected businessman, he has a good knowledge of football ... and he has strong leadership qualities, which we desperately need at Waterhouse now.

"Marketing is a huge part of making a club successful because sponsorship is what brings in the most money and we want to brand the club and, by extension, the community as a professional club and community and having met him, he was to the point, he was cut and dry, no-nonsense and when all of us met in the executive body, we overwhelmingly accepted him," stated Bicknell. "Since then, he's done a little tour in the community and met some of the residents, which is very, very important because they have a huge influence on the club."

Cash, Chin contends, will be a major ingredient, mixed with the working relationship of his executive body, player complement and significantly, the community.

"I think with all Premier League teams the first challenge will be money, how we can finance the budget and have the community buy into what we decide to do and work with us to make it work," Chin pointed out.

Continuing, he stressed: "The relationship with the community and the club has to be strong.

"We must ensure that we maintain that strong community base, build on it. The community must show respect to the players, technical staff and decisions that they make.


"They have to try to understand what is taking place in the club and try to see what best they can do from the outside," he pointed out. "They demand that respect, so I don't have a problem granting it to them."

Waterhouse FC have one of, if not the largest fan-base in the Premier League. They are noted for being very passionate about their team, whose successes often serve as a conduit to peace in the inner-city area when it's troubled by violence.

Purely as it relates to football, their passion for victory has produced both positive, in terms of support, as well as negative effects on occasions gone by.

The latter impacted harshly on the club with fines and penalties handed down by the sport's ruling body here, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). Chin believes its a recognition that needs to be tackled head-on by their loyal following not only at that level, but in terms of their assets, the players themselves.

"The community needs to understand the mandate for the club, don't break down the discipline but ensure that the discipline is maintained."

His challenge in that regard?

"One of the things I need to do is find out the root cause," he said of their underachieving ways. "To diagnose the problem, you've to see the source of the problem.

"When you see the chairman and the type of facility, it's maybe one of the most professional organisations we have," Chin noted but then he asked rhetorically: "Why are the deliverables so low?"

He added: "The first thing we need to look at is the level of discipline and the respect for each other. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but somebody is going to have to put down their foot and stand for something."

Bicknell agrees.

"What is most important is we need to bring back discipline," the club's chairman said. "We need to improve on our discipline, which is seriously lacking. I really believe that Ricky has filled a huge void and we'll work very well together to bring back the image to the club and community that it deserves."

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