‘We’ll abide’ - Clubs welcome JFF decision on settling National Premier League in case of abrupt ending
Mount Pleasant manager David Galloway and Dunbeholden manager Paul Christie are welcoming the expected rule changes to the upcoming National Premier League season should it be brought to an abrupt end.
The 2020-21 campaign is expected to kick off on November 14 pending final approval of protocols from the Ministry of Health & Wellness.
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint confirmed at the press conference to launch the league on September 21 that rules are being crafted regarding how the season will finish if there is another disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic or any other unforeseen incidents. Wint said that the measure will be finalised by the JFF board and released before the start of the season.
The 2019-20 campaign was suspended in March and ultimately cancelled in May with no champion crowned and no relegation despite attempts for a return in July. Mount Pleasant said that the club will work with whatever is decided but regrets that such a framework was not considered for last season.
“It’s just a pity that rule did not come in before, because if that rule had come in, we would have known that we would have been going into the Concacaf tournament,” Galloway said. “[But] there are rules and regulations and we just have to abide by them.”
Christie says that as long as the framework is clearly defined before the season starts, he would not have a problem with what is approved. However, he acknowledged the difficulty in making such changes with no reference to rely on.
“We are still trying to deal with it [COVID-19] and there is no precedent that has been set where this is concerned,” Christie said. “So, we are trying to rack our minds together to come up with the best possible solution to what is a very unique situation.”
English Premier League clubs were reportedly presented with a resolution on September 3 to accept the standings as final should COVID-19 force another halt to the season if 50 per cent of the fixtures are played. The proposal is seen as a worst-case scenario mechanism to avoid conflict regarding how the season should finish. A champion, European places and relegation would be decided as part of the resolution.
The National Premier League season is expected to end on June 30, with only two rounds of matches played before the league play-offs.