S.R.U President expresses disappointment over coach selection

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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S.R.U. Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i.

S.R.U. Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The President of the Samoa Rugby Union, Namulauulu Sami Leota, has expressed disappointment with the hiring process of new Manu Samoa coach Steve Jackson. 

His concerns were expressed in an email to the S.R.U. Chief Executive Officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i dated September 20, 2018, which was copied to members of the Board. 

Faleomavaega announced the appointment of Steve Jackson as the new head coach last week, replacing Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, who coached the national team through the qualification rounds.

He acknowledged receiving an email from the Sunday Samoan. But he did not respond to questions in relation to this matter. 

Namulauulu stated in his email that the normal process for the recruitment of a head coach is for the panel’s recommendation to be tabled before the board for its endorsement and blessings. 

He said the actions of Faleomavaega undermined the authority of the board and reflects how insignificant the board is to him. 

“My fear is that you are exposing the Hon Chairman (Prime Minister) and the Board to criticism and possible litigation due to your reckless action." 

“Whist you are disappointed with the process being compromised, you should be reminded that it was compromised right from the outset because of your action." 

“I read your comments in the media yesterday (19th Sept) and you stated that S.R.U. is following the due process and I quote ‘we have yet to submit the recommendation to the S.R.U. Board for their review and final decision’.  

“However in the email sent by Faleomavaega indicated the decision was made by the Board on the12th September. 

How can you make a decision on the 12th September yet the interview process was only completed on the 17th September,” said Namulauulu. 

The email is printed in verbatim below. 

Talofa Faleomavaega,

I was not at the meeting of the 12th September but the normal process is that the panel's recommendation should be tabled at the Board for its endorsement and blessings. 

I read your comments in the media yesterday (19th Sept) and you stated that SRU is following the due process and I quote 

" we have yet to submit the recommendation to the SRU Board for their review and final decision" 

However, today in the email below you said that the decision was made by the Board on the12th September.

 How can you make a decision on the 12th September yet the interview process was only completed on the 17th September. 

O le a la le aoga e fai ai le tatou Board? Just to rubber stamp matters coming through from the CEO and WR?

WR letter (Peter Horne) and SRU Board Decision. 

This is no different from the decision by the SRU Board alluded to by Peter Horne of WR in his letter of the 23rd August (which trigger the whole re-advertisement of the HC position)     where it says 

" we agree with the SRU Board decision to 1) Zane to return to his role as GM of HP 2) that a suitable replacement is sought urgently for the Head Coach Position"

For the record and to make it clear, SRU Board did not make that decision at all.  I was the Board Secretary and I have all the audio recording and minutes as well as the full documentation of the meeting on the 21st August ( where Zane was relieve of his Manu Samoa duties in order to focus on HPU ) and there was absolutely no discussion or resolution by the Board pertaining to the MS HC position 

The whole thing in my view was orchestrated by yourself so that to get rid of Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua.

Have a look below at the original panel you recommended to conduct the interview. 

SRU and WR Agreement 

You will note that the agreement between SRU and WR dated 27th January 2018 after we met with David Carrigy and Bruce Cooke of WR at Tanoa, WR agreed that SRU will carry on with its appointment of Fuimaono based on our reasons given but the funding that was suppose to come from them to fund the HC will continue to pay towards the HPU program but under a different item. 

In other words the money was always coming from WR and they were happy for us to continue on with our appointment. 

Part of that same agreement is to relieve John Schuster and Brian Lima from MS to coach Samoa A and WR will continue to fund technical support towards Fuimaono. 

The idea to re advertise the post is not of SRU Board or the WR but yourself alone. 

CEO Action 

Your actions are really RUDE and undermines the authority of the Board and it also reflects how insignificant the board is to you. 

E te manatu faatauvaa I Sui Manalu o le komiti faafoe. 

My fear is that you are exposing the Hon Chairman and the Board to criticism and possible litigation due to your reckless action. 

Process Compromised. 

Whist you are disappointed with the process being compromised, you should be reminded that it was compromised right from the outset because of your action: 

by advising the WR that SRU Board had agreed to re-advertise the HC position, which is a lie

the compilation of the original panel recommended by yourself of Rev Siaosi, Sua Peter and Zane is a joke and was never going to serve any fairness and justice to Fuimaono. Why is that?

Rev Siaosi: he was in the original panel that put Fuimaono in the 5th place, so he should never be in this panel. 

Sua Peter: never worked along with Fuimaono and never liked him. He pushed hard for a different candidate when Fuimaono was last appointed.  

Zane: was involved in the recent review of the MS HC which concluded that Fuimaono has deficiencies in his elite coaching ability and he (Zane) was doing all the work for the HC. 

(Please note a copy of this review was never presented to the Board.)

Zanes brother in law was also applying YET you recommended him to be in the panel to represent SRU. 

Have you ever heard of the term “conflict of interest”??

Fortunately, the board reverse Zane and Sua and replace them with the two board members.

I want to make it clear that I am not against the panels recommendation as I am sure they have done a thorough job.

My concern is that you are not following proper processes and by doing so undermines the Board’s authority and integrity not for the first time but many times and this must be stopped. 

We have talked so much about accountability and transparency and fairness    but you operated in quite the opposite. 

Please note that the above are just the tips of the icebergs on some of the unprofessional stuffs you are doing at SRU which shows your inability to perform your role as CEO. 

 

Sincerely disappointed,

Namulauululu Sami Leota

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