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Billion-dollar league - Organisers share challenges associated with estimated cost of running local Premiership

Published:Sunday | November 22, 2020 | 8:04 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Tivoli Gardens’ Shacvar Campbell (left) gets airborne to bring the ball down on his chest while under pressure from Dunbeholden’s Jevon Angel during a National Premier League game at the Royal Lakes Sports Complex in St Catherine on Sunday, February 3, 2019.

Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) Commercial Committee Chairman Donovan White says it will take at least half a billion dollars to sustain the National Premier League (NPL) annually, as it is now, and close to $1 billion to make the one he and his team envisions fully functional.

White, also the president of Waterhouse Football Club, said that it costs each club around $25 million to $30 million dollars annually to participate in the NPL.

He says this figure considers factors such as execution, regulatory costs, salaries, and other associated expenses.

“We are still not at the level where we can optimally manage costs, so we need to raise the very minimum to be able to be sustainable, a half a billion dollars of income from the marketplace,” White said at a virtual Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Thursday.

“Whether that comes through sponsorship, or a combination of sponsorship and rights revenues, that’s where we need to be functionable at this level.”


However, he said for clubs to properly sustain themselves for the season, they need to double whatever they are now spending, to be fully functional.

“Is $30 million sufficient to do the things that we need to do? To sustain our players properly, sustain facilities, and improve our infrastructure,” he asked.

“We really need to be doubling that, so we are talking about close to a billion dollars if we are to function at a very optimal level.

“We believe that we have to get to the level where we are generating close to a billion dollars to operate this league in the vein that we think would make it a very solid property that can be marketed here and overseas, and which also enables us to raise the bar in terms of our ability to move our players at the level of the income that they could earn for themselves, like say, if they were playing in somewhere like Central America.”

White says that because many clubs will struggle to meet these financial demands, support from the media and the Government will be crucial.

“We have to give it time and (hope) that the media will give us time and the support we need, so we can together communicate to that public and corporate sector,” he said.

“We believe that the Government has a role to play, especially from the perspective of infrastructural development, because that is something we believe would set us apart very quickly and enable us to really get to the level that we seek.”