Interest in RSPL will remain high, says Price
Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) coach Andrew Price of Humble Lion says despite the nearly four weeks of inactivity and the effects it is expected to have on players’ physical conditions, he expects a level playing field for all teams if and when the league resumes.
Football, locally and worldwide, has been paralysed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, but Price, a former national defender, believes that once the teams are given proper notice ahead of a restart and a grace period provided to get prepared for the resumption, no team will have an advantage.“All teams will start on an equal footing. There are four rounds remaining (in preliminary round), and it’s just for the teams to do the best they can for the remaining four rounds.
“We don’t know when that (a restart) is going to be, but whenever it is, I believe we should be given that grace period to prepare for the remainder of games,” he said.
VALUE WON’T DECREASE
He also believes that the circumstances resulting from the global health catastrophe caused by COVID-19 will not decrease the value of the competition or make the league any less interesting or inferior in quality, even though players might not be at their best at the restart.
“Once we get into that business end (season), the whole competitiveness of the clubs, players and coaches will kick in; and I believe we are a country that loves entertainment, so I believe it will be enough to motivate the players to get going again.
“I know they are all yearning for football, not just the players, but also the spectators, and once we get started, everybody will get back into the groove and it will be smooth sailing,” he surmised.
He is also totally in favour of completing the league, even if it means delaying the start of next season.“It would be unfortunate to abandon the league, we must do everything in our power to ensure it finishes. No matter how long, I believe we should endeavour to complete the season, even if it means starting the new season a lot later than usual.
“But we have to take it day by day and follow the dictates of the Government, especially the health and wellness ministry,” he added.
After 29 rounds, Humble Lion sit fourth in the table on 46 points, the same as third-placed Portmore. But both teams have played a game less than the rest of the league and have a rescheduled game against each other. Waterhouse lead the standings with 54, followed by Mount Pleasant in second on 53.