The past cannot be our
JFF’S planned return to two-tiered pro league
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.
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