MONTEGO BAY, St James - Stating that he does not want to see Montego Bay United playing home games in St Elizabeth, former Mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Charles Sinclair has offered to mediate between the principals of the Red Stripe Premier League club and the St James Parish Council in their impasse over fees associated with the use of the Montego Bay Sport Complex.
Sinclair said he had written to the Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, in an effort to mediate and see how best they could bridge the divide between the football club and the operators of the sports facilities.
Earlier this week, Orville Powell, president of MBU, announced that they planned to play their next three home games at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz after failing to come to an agreement over fees to use the Catherine Hall facility.
Last week, Powell had told the Jamaica Observer that they found the $220,000 per match fee being asked by the Parish Council to be too high and that efforts to get them to reconsider had failed.
This, Powel said, had forced them to look at other venues, including STETHS, to host home games until Wespow Park, their training facility, was brought up to Premier League standards.
However Sinclair, the councillor for the Flanker Division and the Mayor in the former administration, said both sides need to drop the "ego thing" and "continue talking" and try to reach an amicable agreement that would see the club playing their home matches in the second city.
Sinclair, who himself was caught up in several public discussions over the fees to use the complex, told the Observer yesterday that "the facility is flexible" and that sections can be closed, thus "saving operational costs".
He went on to explain that given average attendance at MBU games, sections of the Grandstand could be closed while opening just two of the four bathrooms and use just two changing rooms to cut cost.
Sinclair said during his administration, the Jamaica Police Force Area One rented the facility to host a sports meet but took over the cleaning up afterwards to lower the costs.