The past can­not be our

JFF’S planned re­turn to two-tiered pro league

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - OPINION -

But alas, the said tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee re­port stated that the lo­cal player pool was poor and that play­ers are be­ing pre­pared by ill­trained or un­trained coaches. There­fore, it would seem prob­a­bly mag­i­cally the es­tab­lish­ment of the leagues with all its para­pher­na­lia will trans­form the play­ers into world beat­ers, if not re­gional pow­er­houses.

The truth be told, that flawed re­port is re­ally akin to a bag of trin­kets be­ing sold to very gullible buy­ers by a de­ceit­ful-tongued sales­man. The re­port, in­clud­ing the pro­pos­als it con­tains, has failed to ad­e­quately iden­tify and ad­dress the root cause(s) or weak­ness of the lo­cal game. I sub­mit the re­port would have been re­ally mean­ing­ful had it se­ri­ously ad­dressed the de­vel­op­men­tal needs of the U-9 to U-19, coach­ing ed­u­ca­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, ref­er­ees, and fi­nanc­ing, among other things.

Par­ish as­so­ci­a­tions

prop­erly iden­tify prob­lems and so­lu­tions needed to im­prove the lo­cal game. In agree­ing to the pro­pos­als, in­clud­ing no de­mo­tion from the pro leagues and no de­fined se­lec­tion cri­te­ria for the clubs that will make up the two tier, they have failed to take into con­sid­er­a­tion the im­pact on their lo­cal as­so­ci­a­tions and, by ex­ten­sion, the whole football struc­ture.

These pro­pos­als will more than likely lead to the demise of the par­ish as­so­ci­a­tions, as they will be ask­ing spon­sors to sup­port con­fed­er­a­tion and par­ish leagues which ef­fec­tively will be glo­ried cor­ner leagues with clubs hav­ing no chance of pro­mo­tion to the pro level. The par­ish pres­i­dents have failed to recog­nise that they have ac­qui­esced to a quasi-fran­chise sys­tem of football in Ja­maica that will stymie growth at the base. Hence, they have failed the clubs that they cur­rently rep­re­sent as par­ish pres­i­dents. They have taken away the rights of their stake­hold­ers and have given it away to an elite few.

Also, they have failed to call out the pres­i­dent of the JFF, Michael Rick­etts, for comments he made at the press con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing the start date of the Premier League. The pres­i­dent cited the rea­son for not hav­ing de­mo­tion for the next two sea­sons (three years) as due to the need to pro­tect the in­vest­ment of the 12 Premier League clubs.

Pres­i­dent Rick­etts’s com­ment have ig­nored the in­vest­ment be­ing made by clubs at the lower level who are seek­ing to play in the Premier League. In this re­gard the clubs in the parishes must seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion from their par­ish pres­i­dents and ask the fol­low­ing questions:

• Why would a club now con­tinue to par­tic­i­pate in football if they can­not meet the un­re­al­is­tic cri­te­ria for the pro leagues?

• How will the 23,400 play­ers within the parishes be ab­sorbed with­out these clubs?

• What will be the im­pact be on the grass roots de­vel­op­ment?

• What will the so­cial im­pact be on Ja­maica and the com­mu­ni­ties rep­re­sented by these clubs, bear­ing in mind the crime sta­tis­tics?

In ac­cept­ing this non­sen­si­cal re­port which failed to re­ally ad­dress the de­vel­op­men­tal needs of the coun­try’s football (youth football) it ap­pears the di­rec­tors of JFF, in­clu­sive of the par­ish pres­i­dents, fell un­der the spell of a Mer­lin-like ma­gi­cian who promised un­told glo­ries and con­quest. Noth­ing else can ex­plain the ill-ad­vised and mon­strous de­ci­sion that they made. Al­though some peo­ple may be­lieve it was rather an easy task as the di­rec­tors have al­ways dreamt of hav­ing teams from their parishes play­ing in the Premier League and Pres­i­dent Rick­etts had al­ways ad­vo­cated for a fran­chise sys­tem. So it is with great speid, oops speed, the die ap­pears to be cast.

How­ever, it is not too late

Ru­dolph Speid

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