Regional

PLCA directors must step down

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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Based on the ruling by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the agreement by all the football stakeholders that Montego Bay United (MBU) must be paid all the monies owed by the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) from last year, it should be a given that Carvel Stewart and other senior directors in the body must step down.

Their actions from last season, through the off-season and just before the start of the 2017/18 Red stripe Premier League (RSPL) season have seemingly brought the competition into disrepute and caused an almost month-long delay to the start of the season.

In any other organisation, sporting or business, a director that causes such a disruption and potential loss of revenue would be forced to do the honourable thing and walk away. And it's not only Stewart, as I guess he was just the spokesman for the PLCA, as he certainly could not have made those decisions on his own.

For those who have not been paying keen attention, prior to the start of last season, then defending champions MBU wrote to the PLCA — a marketing and fund-raising arm of the organisers of RSPL — to say that they would not be taking any of the monthly subventions given to the 12 participating clubs.

Later on MBU changed their minds but were told in no uncertain terms, 'Sorry, but no cake for you', and funds that should have gone to MBU was then shared up among the other 11 teams. As far as we know, none of the teams refused the extra money.

MBU continued to agitate for the monies owed to them through the end of last season, during the off-season, and even more stridently as the scheduled September 3 start of the 2017/18 RSPL season approached.

During this time the governing JFF dictated that MBU must be paid all the monies owed. But PLCA, through Stewart, insisted they did not owe MBU “one red cent”.

A week before the start of the season we also heard that referees had not been paid a significant amount owed from the 2016/17 season and would not be participating. Stewart, speaking on behalf of the PLCA, offered to find the funds to pay the referees, but insisted it was not the organisation's responsibility.

After several meetings over the past two weeks or so, several offers were made to MBU, one that included the nine remaining teams from last season chipping in to “help” repay MBU half of what they are owed, but that was not accepted by the St James club.

On Saturday, in one of the first announcements made by new JFF President Michael Ricketts, we heard that MBU would in fact be paid “every red cent” — without interest and minus fines and other administrative costs owed.

This ruling by the JFF flies in the face of what the PLCA has doggedly stood for over the past 10 months and, as such, in my opinion, it would make their positions untenable.

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