PFJL outlines pathway to JSE
Williams: The important thing is putting the governance structure in place, ensuring that all the necessary corporate legal filings are up to date
Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) chairman Christopher Williams says that taking Jamaica Premier League clubs public will be the next step in ensuring a viable financial future. His comments come as PFJL seeks to have at least one...
Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) chairman Christopher Williams says that taking Jamaica Premier League clubs public will be the next step in ensuring a viable financial future.
His comments come as PFJL seeks to have at least one Premier League club listed on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) by 2024.
In the ongoing path towards elevating the professional standards of the league, Williams says that what will be critical will be ensuring that clubs have the required financial foundation required to move forward.
“The important thing is putting the governance structure in place, ensuring that all the necessary corporate legal filings are up to date, and so on, and making sure that the company is in good standing. And then having in place a business plan that would attract investors, outlining the various development plans as well as revenue plans,” Williams told The Gleaner.
Williams said that providing a solid player-development strategy will be critical to the process of being listed as player sales will be a key source of income for the clubs. Additionally, while not acknowledging which clubs are closer to being listed, he said that some are already operating on that platform.
“A lot of the clubs are going to be forming new companies, and so there may not be a need for historical financials. So that is something that we would take under advisement, and so I think the most critical thing would be the development plan for the clubs,” Williams said.
“It’s not so much to do with the league, but it is to do with driving the clubs from a development standpoint. The league is one aspect of the club. Another aspect of the club is the development and sale of players, and so this initiative is not so much geared towards getting the clubs to win the league, but getting the clubs to a financially sustainable position so they can be much more viable is critical. So that is where we are taking this from.”
Businessman Chris Dehring says that while having the proper administrative structure will be key towards reaching their target, the biggest challenge will be having a growing local electronic media market that will boost the club’s value and make it attractive to potential investors.
“The value of most football clubs is primarily derived from the value of its electronic media. You really don’t have a very solid base unless the Jamaican domestic market for sports rights grows exponentially or shows the potential. When you list on a market, it’s really the future potential,” Dehring said. “So unless people see those electronic rights growing in the domestic market in the next two years, it’s not likely to be a very attractive proposition.”
Dehring said that growth can come in a better television rights distribution package for the league or the league having its own electronic-distribution strategy.
Taking a club public means offering ownership of the club to the general public. This will include having an initial public offering (IPO) where people can purchase stocks in the club.