Up­set ‘Junglists’ held by TG

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Marc Stamp Gleaner Writer

UP­SET BY a salary dis­pute brought on by a re­struc­tur­ing ex­er­cise at their club, Ar­nett Gar­dens’ play­ers stayed away from train­ing for three days last week ahead of yes­ter­day’s Red Stripe Premier League clash against ri­vals Tivoli Gar­dens at the An­thony Spauld­ing Sports Com­plex.

All things con­sid­ered, the 0-0 score­line – de­spite com­ing against nine men – can hardly be con­sid­ered a neg­a­tive with re­ports that the play­ers were at one point con­sid­er­ing to not show up for the fix­ture. This af­ter the club’s hi­er­ar­chy de­cided early last week to cut the squad size and chop the salaries of play­ers as well as mem­bers of the tech­ni­cal staff.

Pres­i­dent of Ar­nett Gar­dens FC Pa­trick Roberts said that be­cause spon­sors with­drew their sup­port, the club was faced with a sit­u­a­tion that re­quired these de­ci­sions.

“Fol­low­ing a meet­ing of the club’s ex­ec­u­tive body last month, a de­ci­sion was taken to cut salaries. Our bud­get was be­tween $1.7 mil­lion to $2 mil­lion pre­vi­ously on a monthly ba­sis,” Roberts told The Gleaner af­ter yes­ter­day’s match.

“We looked at our sit­u­a­tion, which is not unique be­cause of the eco­nom­i­cal cri­sis. What hap­pened is that the chair­man met with the other ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers last month to look at down­siz­ing. We still tried to come up with the ad­di­tional funds, but that did not hap­pen.


“Some play­ers were given the op­por­tu­nity to leave or take a salary cut. We have a squad of 40 play­ers with about sev­enty-five per­cent of the squad on con­tract,” he also dis­closed.

“We are try­ing to have a meet­ing with the play­ers be­fore the end of the week to ex­plain the new sit­u­a­tion mov­ing for­ward. Now, we are look­ing at a bud­get of be­tween $1.3 to $1.4 mil­lion in salaries. The PLCA gives each club $300,000 monthly, but we have to find cre­ative ways to meet our bud­get,” Roberts ex­plained.

He also said the en­tire board was still in place, but there had been changes to the se­cu­rity ar­range­ment.

“We have a change in the se­cu­rity as we need stricter gate con­trol. We had also planned to play the game against Tivoli un­der lights, but be­cause it was a planned tele­vi­sion game, the 3 p.m. start time could not be changed,” he fur­ther said.

On the field, vet­eran Tivoli goal­keeper Ed­sel ‘Rob­bie’ Scott was forced into a num­ber of spec­tac­u­lar saves as his nine­man team held the hosts in a hotly con­tested match.

Scott’s hero­ics were the high­light of the game and he was duly awarded the Man of the Match.

Tivoli lost their cap­tain and cen­tral de­fender Ro­maine Breakenridge, who re­ceived a red card in the 31st minute for vi­o­lent con­duct af­ter hit­ting Ar­nett’s striker Da­mari ‘Hus­tler’ Dea­con in an off-the-ball in­ci­dent.

Mitchily Waul was then given his march­ing or­ders af­ter yel­low cards in the 42nd and 52nd min­utes. How­ever, Ar­nett failed to cap­i­talise on their two-man ad­van­tage.

Among Scott’s saves was a penalty kick taken by Ar­nett’s sub­sti­tute Ke­mal ‘Tull’ Malcolm in the 81st minute. He also de­nied Dea­con early in the game.


Ar­nett Gar­den’s Marvin Mor­gan (fore­ground) goes down un­der a chal­lenge from Tivoli Gar­dens’ Jer­maine John­son dur­ing their Red Stripe Premier League en­counter at the An­thony Spauld­ing Sports com­plex yes­ter­day. The game ended 0-0.

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