Clubs bash PLCA ... Threaten to withdraw from RSPL
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
The start of the Red Stripe Premier League season is still a couple days away, but clubs are already up in arms, as claims of poor governance on the part of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and seven years of unaudited reports have left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the league as teams threaten withdrawal.
With two days to go before the return of top-flight football, at least three teams have indicated that they will not take part in this year's competition until issues related to the governance of the league and the PLCA's accountability are effectively dealt with.
Title sponsors Red Stripe opened its Spanish Town road facilities to the who's who of local football on Wednesday evening in a colourful launch of a tournament that is expected to morph into a franchise-based system in the coming year.
However, relations said to be at an all-time low between the PLCA and the clubs.
According to well-placed Gleaner sources, the management of defending champions Montego Bay United, Sporting Central Academy and Cavalier have all written to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the PLCA to express their concerns about the transparency and accountability of the organisation, as well as its management practices. The clubs have threatened to pull their teams until the issues are handled.
The clubs have reportedly told the JFF that they are disturbed by the fact that there has been no auditing of the PLCA's accounts since its formation in 2007, while pointing to other issues relating to corporate governance. "We cannot continue to participate in a league which is governed so loosely and with blatant disregard for its stakeholders and one in which the PLCA appears to have no interest in ensuring that transparency, accountability, and sound management practices are a part of its mandate," one club administrator wrote to the JFF and other parties.
Breaches in the PLCA's Article of Incorporation, the non-issue of the rules and regulations governing the competition, as well as an incomplete fixture list are some of the other major grouses that have left the clubs unconvinced about the PLCA's ability to push the league forward.
Calls to the cell number of PLCA general manager Andrew Price went unanswered.
The JFF late yesterday called an emergency meeting of the PLCA, the Professional Football Association of Jamaica and all participating clubs.
The meeting is set for 2 p.m. at the JFF's office in New Kingston.
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