When has there not been acrimony between the JFF and players over remuneration?

Western News

When has there not been acrimony between the JFF and players over remuneration?

The Sporting EDGE

with Paul Reid

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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It seems there is not a year or a major competition when the administration of the JFF and its players have not been at each other's throats, and with threats of strike and boycott flying all over.

It's almost like clockwork precision, and even in the best of times when our football was at the very top there have been threats of player strikes going as far back as the 1990s, and more than once the late JFF president Captain Horace Burrell had to come to the rescue, dipping into his own very deep pockets to help things out.

The only thing new with the latest instalment of the ongoing saga is that the wider population got a taste of how the negotiations have been carried out, and it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

The leaked audio recording of a negotiation session between team captain Damion Lowe and senior members of the JFF executive showed a frightening lack of respect for the players by members of the executive, and even worse the lack of any attempt at proper negotiations by the administrators.

The parties were seeking to arrive at an agreement for payment of players who would be making a two-match trip to Saudi Arabia for two friendly games late last year, and unnecessarily harsh words were used on both sides.

This JFF management continues to give the impression that the business of Jamaica's football is not a priority for them, resulting in a series of bungling and missteps that cannot be tolerated at any level.

I don't for one moment believe that the federation is awash with cash and can pay the players salaries comparable to the other top federations in CONCACAF, and maybe the players should be made aware of that fact.

However, the JFF has to shoulder most of the blame as even their planning for the trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came up short, having members of the delegation test for COVID-19 the day before they left and hearing that one player returned a positive test en route, despite the players being in camp prior.

Then having to leave the player in London to quarantine was not only costly but amateurish to say the very least; also, was it necessary for three top executives to go to Saudi Arabia?

We have not heard of any agreement between both federations for any long-term cooperation that would have required the presence of almost the top half of the JFF executive.

All that money could have been saved and used for better purposes.

One of the positives that has come out of the leaked tape, however, is that we have strong, intelligent players who are not afraid to speak up and speak out for their rights.

We now have players who have been exposed to real professional football and are not looking for handouts as they know their worth and will not back down.

The JFF, however, seems not to have learned from the past and made serious moves to avoid any repeats as we plan to get back to the World Cup for the first time since 1998 in France, some 23 long years ago.

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