Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Franchise football is right for Jamaica - Anderson

Published:Sunday | April 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Portmore United captain Ewan Grandison (left) closes down Waterhouse's Cardel Benbow during the final of the Red Stripe Premier League at the National Stadium last Monday. Portmore won the title after a 4-3 penalty shootout win after a 0-0 scoreline in regulation and extra time.
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Chairman of the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ) Don Anderson is convinced that the heavily debated franchise system would be the right approach to improving Jamaica's domestic football product.

Anderson believes that the current Premier League model is not viable and argues that a professional system would be better in order to have growth and development.

"The PFAJ Board of Directors has not officially met to discuss the matter yet, but my personal view is to have a franchise system," Anderson told The Sunday Gleaner.

"The JFF (Jamaica Football Federation) has taken on the key, headed by Garry Sinclair (JFF vice-president), who is responsible for the discussions and moving forward. My own view on that is, especially against the background of CONCACAF's drive to professionalise all the clubs in the region, that we have to move as fast as we can to the franchise system. I believe that we should be consistent with that drive," Anderson added.

Anderson, while noting the community roots of most of the island's clubs, says that there is a greater role to play for corporate Jamaica with regard to domestic football, and he believes that a franchise system can provide an attractive avenue.

"The clubs have to become very professional in terms of organisation and structure, players, field, and everything that will make the clubs ready for a professional league. I believe if we go franchise, we will be in league with what CONCACAF wants," he stated.

 

VERY SENSITIVE

 

"Our football in the Premier League is very much rooted in the communities. We have to be very sensitive to that, but ... we would be able to move into a situation where big corporate entities in Jamaica will come on board," Anderson added.

"All the clubs would have to come on board to attract the sponsorship or ownership from corporate Jamaica. I really think a franchise system would be good for the growth and development of our football," he insisted.

"Right now, the way in which we operate is not as viable as it should be. We know that the clubs are struggling to pay players' salaries, and not many fields are of a proper standard in Jamaica. The expense is very heavy, and the clubs are finding it difficult to pay on a regular basis at the time that they should. The current system is not economically viable. I suspect that the franchise system would be the right way for football," Anderson concluded.