Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Mixed support for franchise system

Published:Wednesday | February 8, 2017 | 2:00 AMMarc Stamp
Jureidini
Powell
Portmore United players celebrate with goal scorer Maalique Foster (centre) during their Red Stripe Premier League encounter against Arnett Gardens at the Spanish Town Prison Oval recently.
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Almost three years after a proposed local franchise system, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is yet to make a move, with club officials expressing mixed views on the plan.

The board of directors of the Jamaica Football Federation went into a strategic planning retreat on May 3-4 in 2014 to chart the way forward for Jamaica's football in general and the JFF in particular.

This franchise system was originally scheduled to be rolled out for the 2015-16 season but was pushed back by a season.

However, there remains mixed reactions to the proposals with a number of top local football administrators expressing conflicting views.

WAY FORWARD

"I have been saying that a franchise system is the way forward. It has been talked, about but nothing done," said Orville Powell president of reigning Red Stripe Premier League champions Montego Bay United.

"We (MBU) have not heard nothing yet. There is a Premier League that could be easily turned into a franchise system. But, the clubs must have a proper structure. It seems to be a dream," Powell added.

Chairman of Tivoli Gardens Edward Seaga is not in support of a franchise system because he believes that it is a way for the JFF to take back control of the club system.

"I am absolutely not in support. It's a way for the JFF to take back the contribution that goes with it. The PLCA would be wiped out," noted Seaga, who is also chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ).

Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View, added that it could work if properly managed.

"It could be a step in the right direction. Proper funding must be in place for it to last 10-15 years in the first instance," Jureidini said.

There is still no indication from the JFF on what is causing the delays.

A Franchise Committee, which is chaired by Gary Sinclair, was established and tasked with the responsibility of piloting the transition; including the finalisations of criteria for the franchises.

However, Sinclair could not be reached for updates with several calls and messages to his mobile phone over the past few months going unanswered.