No change in RSPL format
The 2017-18 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season is all set to kick off on Sunday, September 3, with no change in the format.
"September 3 is slated for the start of the 2017-18 Red Stripe Premier League. We have done a draft of the fixtures but it will be released when it is ratified," general manager of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), Pat Garel, told The Gleaner yesterday.
"There will be no changes to the format. The clubs had agreed to this format and we will continue with it," she added.
At the conclusion of last season's RSPL, at least one coach objected to the format. After the completion of the league the top six teams move on. Third to sixth then play off in quarter-finals while the top two gain a bye to the semi-finals.
Last season, Humble Lion's coach Donovan Duckie strongly objected to the format after his team lost to eventual champions Arnett Gardens in the semi-finals. Clarendon-based Humble Lion gained most points to top the league but were eliminated by sixth-place Arnett Gardens in the semi-finals. Duckie is no longer at Humble Lion.
Title sponsors Red Stripe will be in the fourth of a five-year deal. Garel said they (PLCA) are looking for more associate sponsors.
"We will continue to improve the league with more sponsors at different levels. Red Stripe is the title sponsor, we have a five-year deal with them. The deal has two seasons remaining, 2017-18 and 2018-19," Garel shared.
The PLCA is responsible for the running of the league, and Garel said they will "continue to improve the financial position of the clubs in the Premier League".
Defending champions Arnett Gardens are slated to oppose new team Sandals South Coast in the opening round. Sandals South Coast made a historic qualification after finishing second behind Cavalier in the Jamaica Football Federation play-offs last month.
The 12 Premier League clubs are Arnett Gardens, Portmore United, Humble Lion, the University of the West Indies, Tivoli Gardens, Montego Bay United, Reno, Boys' Town, Waterhouse, Sandals South Coast, and Cavalier.