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We do not owe Montego Bay United, says PLCA

Friday, September 01, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Premier League Clubs Association Limited (PLCA) says it is “alarmed and disappointed” that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has postponed the start of the 2017/18 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season, based on “misinformation about financial liabilities allegedly owed by the PLCA to both Montego Bay United Football Club and the referees.

The PCLA in a detailed statement this afternoon denies that it is liable to any of the parties named by the JFF.

See the full PCLA statement:

The Premier League Clubs Association Limited (PLCA) notes with alarm, profound concern and disappointment that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has postponed the start of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) on the basis of, inter alia, misinformation about financial liabilities allegedly owed by the PLCA to both Montego Bay United Football Club (MBUFC) and the Referees.

The PLCA denies that it is liable to any of the parties named.

Regarding MBUFC, the PLCA received a letter dated the 12th August, 2016 from MBUFC (signed by an attorney-at-law) clearly stating MBUFC was withdrawing from the PLCA "with immediate effect" and did not want any benefits from any sponsorship etc. negotiated by the PLCA.

It must be emphasized that the PLCA cannot force a club to be a member of the PLCA but the PLCA's clear understanding of the relevant arrangement is that no club can participate in the RSPL without being a member of PLCA.

MBUFC committed to the JFF to participate fully in the RSPL without any benefits from any sponsorship etc. raised by PLCA. MBUFC was supported in this action by JFF which told PLCA that MBUFC was free to leave the PLCA but could still participate in the RSPL. PLCA disagreed with the JFF's decision, which contravened the relevant agreement and undermined the entire arrangement with the clubs.

Acting on MBUFC's clear wishes and bearing in mind the arrangements with the clubs, PLCA allocated the relevant funds to the other eleven clubs that remained a part of PLCA.

PLCA later acted on the JFF's instruction to readmit MBUFC to PLCA membership as of April 1, 2017, approximately seven months after the RSPL had started. In so doing PLCA paid MBUFC what was due to it after the date of readmission. PLCA recently paid to MBUFC a pre-season "August 2017 grant".

In light of the JFF's decision to allow MBUFC's participation while being outside of PLCA; MBUFC's readmission effective April 1, 2017; and the prior distribution of sponsorship to the remaining clubs, PLCA has no liability to pay any further sums to MBUFC.

Regarding the referees, PLCA is not liable for any fees outstanding to them. PLCA does not employ the referees and has, therefore, not been invoiced by their association.

In its "release" the JFF refers to the Jamaica Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), organizer of the RSPL. It should be noted that JFF is a 51 per cent shareholder of PFAJ while PLCA holds 49 per cent. PLCA has, to date, provided one hundred percent (100 per cent) funding of the PFAJ while the JFF has not provided any in spite of multiple requests from PFAJ.

In the circumstances, the proper party to pay the referees is the PFAJ. In the past PLCA has assisted with the payment to the referees in order to facilitate the smooth running of the RSPL. Indeed, if the PFAJ has no funds the PLCA is considering doing so again to avoid a disruption of the imminent 2017-2018 season in the best interests of football and the sponsors.

The PLCA has contributed significantly to the development of the clubs and Jamaica's football by bringing significant sponsorship to the league and improving things for the clubs generally.

PLCA apologizes to our sponsors and all other well-thinking stakeholders for any inconvenience caused by the JFF's actions. PLCA regrets specifically any inconvenience and losses that have been caused to the RSPL title sponsor "Red Stripe" which had to postpone the launch of the RSPL 2017/18 season scheduled for August 31.

The PLCA will continue to work in the best interests of the clubs, players, sponsors and all other stakeholders in order to enhance Jamaican football. Consequently, the PLCA is willing to meet with the JFF, MBUFC and all other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve an amicable resolution of all the outstanding issues as quickly as possible.

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