Samoa rugby ex-CEO was frustrated over reforms
By Alan Ah Mu
As CEO of Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), Fred Amoa was never sworn at by a member of the public because of the result of international games.
So that was not a reason for his resignation earlier this month.
Though personal reasons, his family and time for other projects, were major considerations for it, frustration over lack of progress in reforms and the team results were also factors.
“I tried to move the union forward with a united front to face the bigger challenges but the issues re-surfaced in late 2014,” Amoa says.
“The 2011 RWC fundraising issues; player allowances,” he says. “The misuse of funds allegations were to do with the RWC2011 campaign.
“There were no allegations of misuse when I took over.”
Amoa became CEO after the 2011 campaign.
“I strongly believe that SRU has to undertake some major reforms and structural changes to face the professional rugby environment and governance is the major priority for SRU to put in place a commercial/corporate approach to its core business operations,” he says.
“I believe that I have started the process and it’s for someone else to continue it to the next stage.”
Last week SRU announced that governance, management and financial accountability reforms will take place with guidance and support from World Rugby.
A committee comprising SRU, World Rugby and independent representatives is to oversee implementation.
Talks with players over pay grievances are to be held.
“Reforms for SRU are long overdue and a clear focus on overhauling the organisation has to be the priority right from the Constitution to team appointments,” Amoa says.
He says he does not want his resignation to be used to attack SRU.
“My preference is to keep it positive so that it will undertake reforms and changes.”
The country’s daily newspaper Samoa Observer says in a weekend editorial that Amoa was appointed CEO at a turbulent time when SRU’s lack of accountability and transparency became apparent in the 2011 World Cup “fiasco, which remains unresolved and continues to simmer today.”
“In a way, Mr. Amoa was expected to perform some mighty miracles to straighten the Union’s crooked ways,” the newspaper says.
“He did not do that but that’s understandable. For how can one man over a couple of years change attitudes and mentalities that have been set in stone within the Samoa Rugby Union for years?” it says.
“Indeed, he worked rather quietly and in the end, he was honest enough to admit that he wasn’t making too much progress.”