West Indies Players Association responds to comments attributed to Dr. Ernest Hilaire
In response to the media release by the WICB on Friday January 29th 2010, WIPA makes the following points:
• Dr Hilaire’s comment regarding “airing of issues in the media” is puzzling, particularly in light of past behaviour by the WICB who frequently used the media during the conflict between the parties in July 2009 and beyond. WIPA considers that unless bound by a confidentiality agreement, there are no secrets. WIPA believes that the West Indian public deserves to know the facts and cannot understand the WICB’s insistence on secrecy and is baffled by the suggestion that hiding the facts from the public is mature.
• WIPA does not attack WICB policies when it cannot get its way. WIPA attacks no-one, but merely states the facts. An examination of the past year will reveal in fact that WIPA has said little to the press. In WIPA’s view it is not about any party getting its way but rather a question of honouring agreements, properly representing the players and doing its best for the good of West Indies cricket. WIPA cannot and will not act as a rubber stamp for the WICB.
• With respect to Fidel Edwards, the information which WIPA has is the information which it shared in the media, as the promised response from the WICB’s CEO was not forthcoming. WIPA will however now continue its investigations on the matter since the WICB has now provided this information via the media.
• WIPA stands by its claim in respect of Cricket Australia and ICC as this is the information that was provided to WIPA by the WICB prior to the signing of the New York Agreement.
• In regional and international corporate practice, one person is often President and CEO. This is an arrangement which ensures expediency in business matters. It has no effect on transparency. WIPA’s executive operates in a transparent manner and is accountable to its members. WIPA understands that the WICB CEO, being new to this business, would be unfamiliar with the persons who lead players’ associations internationally. To WIPA’s knowledge none of the players’ associations are headed by senior players or captains and in fact WIPA considers that an association headed by a senior player or captain would be compromised in its effect and efforts as it would fall prey to fears of victimisation and/or favoritism.
• WIPA has no record of players complaining about the manner in which WIPA’s elections are held, or about their alleged lack of say in the policy and actions of WIPA. WIPA is in frequent contact with its players and most of the complaints made are in respect of the WICB. WIPA’s elections are conducted in strict accordance with its by-laws and WIPA provides financial statements in accordance with these by-laws. Financial information is always available if requested by a player. WIPA notes that this allegation by the WICB reveals that they have been engaging in discussions about WIPA with the players while WIPA is absent and points to a practice frequently used by the WICB to try to undermine WIPA’s relations with its players. It seems that it is in fact the WICB who is intent on “inciting” players.
• The WICB has treated with WIPMACOL in the past and has accepted authorizations from WIPMACOL which allowed the retainer contracts to be signed by the players. It is therefore passing strange that it now questions WIPMACOL’s viability as a company. The WICB has also seen the documents by which players assigned their rights to WIPMACOL so are completely aware of the transaction which took place and its implications and legality. Moreover this type of transaction is one which sportsmen all over the world conduct( not just cricketers) and WIPA is alarmed that the CEO of the WICB is not aware of these types of transactions. WIPMACOL’s incorporation documents are available for all to see and the WICB has conducted searches for and seen them.
• WIPA is just as anxious to resolve the list of outstanding issues as the WICB claims to be and has proposed several times last year and this year, dates to meet to achieve this.
• With regard to the new MOU/CBA, WIPA has met twice with the WICB’s mandated representatives on this matter and has set out in writing its position on the proposed new CBA/MOU for the WICB. The Special Arbitration has not yet been heard and in WIPA’ view until it is heard and a ruling delivered, no substantive discussion on this proposed document can take place. The date identified for finalisation of the CBA/MOU was set in anticipation of the speedy hearing of the Special Arbitration. WIPA has done everything necessary to advance the process of the Special Arbitration, including preparation of the preliminary documents.