Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Molynes president wants RSPL subsidy

Published:Friday | July 10, 2020 | 12:11 AMRachid Parchment/Assistant Sports Editor
Mount Pleasant’s Kevaughn Isaacs (right) gets a toe to the ball ahead of Molynes United’s Tyrique Wilson during a Red Stripe Premier League match at the Constant Spring Sports Complex on Sunday, December 15, 2019.
Mount Pleasant’s Kevaughn Isaacs (right) gets a toe to the ball ahead of Molynes United’s Tyrique Wilson during a Red Stripe Premier League match at the Constant Spring Sports Complex on Sunday, December 15, 2019.

Molynes United President Herman Cruickshank has called for a subsidy by organisers of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) to aid less financially endowed teams when the new season starts.

Molynes were promoted to top-flight football in the 2019-20 season, which was then ruled null and void by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team had been undertaking a number of projects to achieve stability and remain one of the RSPL’s 12 teams for many seasons. This includes the refurbishing of its home base, Jasicera Park.

However, with games to return during a pandemic, it is highly likely that there will be no lifting of the government ban on mass gatherings, including spectators at sporting events. This has consequences on the club’s revenue, especially from gate receipts and concessions.

“It’s going to be very expensive, I know,” Cruickshank told The Gleaner. “But we still have to plan.

“It’s going to be a rough season, let’s not fool ourselves. We were trying to go fan-based. We wanted our fans to buy into the club and to pay entry fees, and we could give them a discount. But with the possibility of fans not being able to come to the game, we might have to rethink that strategy.

SUBSIDY PROGRAMME

“But maybe the authority should put together a subsidy programme, because if you play a game and there’s no spectator, you may lose half a million dollars or more, so maybe some form of subsidy could work, or they could sell the sponsors some advertisements with banners on the stands, like what they do in the English Premier League.

“It’s going to take a lot of planning but it can work, because I think, as it is now, the players are hungry for the football, and the country itself also needs something.”

JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint said that the body is aware of the hardships clubs are expected to face, but refused to give details on what is being planned to address it.

“All of those things are being discussed but I can’t comment on them,” he said. “It would be premature for me to provide a response about that, but everything is being discussed, everything is on the table.”

The RSPL’s organising body, the Premier League Clubs Association, is reportedly set for a restructuring and renaming, and meetings are now under way to address how it will function going forward and the policies to be put in place to protect its clubs’ interests.

rachid.parchment@gleanerjm.com