MoBay hit hard
Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions Montego Bay United have been slapped with hefty fines amounting to $275,000 by the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), arising from the club's protest action leading up to the May 1 final against Portmore United.
The club has accepted five of the nine charges laid against them and in return has emailed the PFAJ outlining their concerns on the matter, Sandra Christie, MBU's operations manager told The Gleaner.
"As expected, the PFAJ has made a ruling and has decided to fine us, citing nine breaches in the process. However, we at MBU, while accepting five, are certainly not accepting four others and have in turn responded by email for further dialogue on the issues," Christie said.
In a release yesterday, the PFAJ outlined the charges against the league champions, citing and fining the club $25,000 for failure to attend an official function (the RSPL press conference on April 21, 2016).
They were also fined a further $25,000 for failure on the club's part to once again attend an official function (media interview on April 28, 2016). MBU were also fined $25,000 for failure to attend the RSPL final match coordination meeting, which was held on April 29, 2016.
In addition, they were fined $15,000 for reasons not acceptable by the PFAJ Operations Committee for arriving late for the final on May 1.
"We are refuting some on the grounds that the PFAJ erred in their assessment. We are willing to pay the fines of five charges as laid out but not on the others because they are really outrageous," Christie stated.
"The PFAJ is within its rights to lay down fines as warranted, but a closer look at them suggests that they were not fully thought out," she said.
One such charge deemed ridiculous by Christie is the charge by the PFAJ of the club's 'unofficial mascot', known as "Lurch", for threats issued to match officials on final day. He has been suspended with immediate effect from all PFAJ-organised games and events until he appears before the PFAJ operations committee.
VERY LOYAL FAN
"Lurch is not a registered member of MBU, nor does he perform any official role for the club," she said.
"Lurch is just a very loyal fan of the club who chooses to wear his love for the club on his sleeve. So if in fact he issued threats, they should take that up with the man and not with MBU. He is really only a supporter," she insisted.
The club was also fined $100,000 for disregarding instructions on entering the field of play and $20,000 for entering the pitch area in garment or equipment bearing unauthorised slogans.
They were also issued a $20,000 fine for failure to provide the team start list on match day in a set timeframe (as per event countdown) and $20,000 for failure to have the team's change room prepared in set timeline (as per PFAJ advisory).
In addition to contesting several of the fines by the PFAJ, Christie noted that MBU were yet to receive prize money for winning the 2015-16 RSPL title and warned that none of the fines should be deducted from that sum.
"We have not yet gotten one red cent from the prize money we are due by virtue of winning the Premier League," she noted.
"We will hold up our end of the bargain as responsible practitioners of the beautiful game, even while we query the veracity of a few of the fines. But we hope likewise that our prize money be paid over and that none of the fines be deducted," Christie warned.