Pro league can attract investment
With recommendations being developed to improve Jamaica’s domestic football product, sports administrators Don Anderson and Carvel Stewart believe that professionalising the island’s top flight can attract overseas investors to local clubs.
Former chairman of the now-dissolved Professional Football Association of Jamaica, Don Anderson, believes that there is potential for foreign investment, provided that the league is able to operate at a professional level.
“A lot will depend on what it is they are investing their money in. It would have to be facilities that are up to standard, good playing fields that can attract television audiences, and so on. No investor is going to put their money in something unless there is a likelihood of a good return,” Anderson told The Gleaner.
A new company is expected to take over operations of the country’s top competition, the Red Stripe Premier League, shortly. Additionally, the Premier League Interim Committee is finalising its recommendations to make the league financially viable in moves that are hoped will lift the reach, value and appeal of the football product.
Stewart, the chairman of Harbour View, one of Jamaica’s most consistent clubs where international transfers is concerned, pointed out that the ability of local clubs to promote and secure overseas moves for their players will be a major drawing card for potential investment.
“I think the main attraction for an overseas investor would be whether or not they will be able to make a profit on their investment, so it probably speaks more of the possibility of players being transferred in the European market in particular, since it is much more lucrative,” Stewart said.
Stewart noted that should his board receive a proposal for total ownership of the club, he would consider it, if its long-term future can be guaranteed.
“If a proposal came to us that seems to be able to grow the club, and with a fairly decent long-term projection for its financing and, hopefully, their return on investment, and they wanted to take over the whole thing, I personally wouldn’t have a difficulty with it,” Stewart said.
Both Anderson and Stewart are in agreement that should a situation like that arise, the potential owners must be properly vetted, as is done in international leagues.