Squash: Prophet in a crisis: Barrington stands for presidency

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The Independent Online
THREE months after losing his job with the Squash Rackets Association, Jonah Barrington is standing to be its president. The man who was regarded as the sport's prophet during its boom years of the Seventies is now in its crisis times of the Nineties attempting to become its saviour.

The presidency is normally a figurehead role. However, Barrington, former British Open champion six times and former SRA director of excellence, has no intention of its remaining so. 'If elected I shall again make the utmost commitment to draw together those from different parts of the sport in a common cause,' Barrington said yesterday.

Squash has never needed it more after the loss of a six-figure sum in the last tax year and the departure of almost all of its leading officials.

Barrington, 53, is still a man of considerable charisma, with great motivational powers, a gift for publicity, and able to call on support from different sections of the sport.

First, though, Barrington has to win an election against the incumbent, Sir Michael Edwardes, for the well-known industrialist has given no indication of relinquishing without a contest.

If Barrington gets the presidency, it will almost certainly force him to relinquish any prospect of paid employment from the SRA, including that of coach to the England team which hopes to win a medal at next year's World Championship.