Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Bailey management hits back at JFF

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2020 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Leon Bailey (front) out-muscles Honduras’ Emilio Izaguirre during a Concacaf Gold Cup game at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday, June 17, 2019.

Phoenix Sports Management (PSM) says there is no formal agreement between its client Leon Bailey and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) regarding ethics.

The JFF threatened sanctions for the player after comments he made on Instagram recently that the federation could have a negative impact on the senior men’s national team’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

PSM says Bailey gave his opinion to a friend during a live social media conversation and that the JFF would be violating his freedom of speech while JFF general secretary Dalton Wint claims that Bailey violated his employment terms with the body for criticising his employer.

“He (Wint) further stated Bailey is issued a gag order and a cease-and-desist order and that there will be stringent sanctions on the party,” PSM’s statement said.

“Article 3 of FIFA statutes addresses the right to freedom of speech and also the responsibility of officials to ensure the freedom of speech and expression is not compromised. Nothing in Bailey’s verbiage is libellous or inaccurate.

“We, as the management of Leon Bailey, had sought a contractual agreement with the Jamaica Football Federation [and] the player. In this way, the player would know what is and is not expected or allowed by the JFF. To date, our client has not been provided with a contract to agree or not to agree.”

PSM said that in the past, others have spoken on other matters concerning the national programme without any sanction.

It said that Bailey’s experience at the professional level has surpassed any member of the national team or its coaching staff and that the player’s advice should be acted upon instead of him being vilified in an effort to cloak incompetence.

PSM said that should Bailey feel that his teammates and countrymen do not believe in his statements, he would consider a break from international football.

“If the country does not want him, then we will consider our options during international breaks,” the agency said.

PSM also said that it was aware that JFF president Michael Ricketts had referred the matter to the federation’s disciplinary committee.