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Premier League cannot survive like this - Davies

Published:Saturday | May 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMDania Bogle


CHAIRMAN of the Arnett Gardens Football Club Omar Davies does not believe that Jamaica's top football league the Red Stripe Premier League, can survive under its current model. Davies, who was speaking to Maurice Foster on Power 106 FM's Power Play on Thursday evening, said that while he is grateful for what his club receives from title sponsorship, it nothing compared to what it actually takes to run a club.

"While there is a title sponsor, and I'm grateful for what they contribute, what we receive from sponsorship does not match up to what is required to keep a team going," said Davies, a former minister of finance.

The Premier League is currently sponsored by Red Stripe, which signed a three-year deal in 2011, which it renewed for five years in 2014.

The value of the deal was not revealed but it was rumoured to be in the range of $800 million, which is divided among the 12 clubs in the league as well as going towards prize money for the winning team.

The winning team for this season's Premier League Montego Bay United won $2.5 million.

This represents the biggest sponsorship of local football.

"While I commend the powers that be in terms of the organisation of the Premier League, I have indicated to other clubs that we need to make the public aware of the cost of running a Premier League club for a year," said Davies.

Montego Bay United is heavily subsidised by the club's president, Orville Powell, which Davies said is consistent with a number of other clubs in the league.

"In several instances several clubs are surviving because of an individual, and I can name the clubs.

"That's not something that can go forward, and it doesn't make sense to have two or three clubs surviving because you need a larger number for the Premier League to survive."


Similar scenarios


He mentioned, in particular President of the Tivoli Gardens Football Club Edward Seaga, and chairman of the Clarendon-based Humble Lion FC Mike Henry as individuals who have been funding Premier League clubs outside of the sponsorship deals.

" Several of the clubs, too much is dependent on one individual," Davies added.

"When (for instance) Mr. Seaga decides he has given enough to Tivoli or Mike Henry at Humble Lion, is there a structure that will succeed if any of these individuals step out," he mused.

While declining to provide a dollar figure on how much it takes to run his club, Arnett Gardens, Davies said that after preparing a full budget he knows the present situation cannot continue.

"The present model cannot last. You see from time to time teams get promoted, and by the next year, they are demoted. I believe that in the excitement of being promoted, I don't think they realise what's fully involved."