JFF to vacate $200,000-a-month rented Shortwood Road property

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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With space at The University of the West Indies/Jamaica Football Federation (UWI/JFF) Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence now ready to house players, the JFF hierarchy has decided to bid farewell to the previous team house at 102 Shortwood Road in Kingston.

The property, which sits close to the home of former Prime Minister PJ Patterson, has housed the country's national football teams for well over two decades, dating back to 1996 as the base for the Reggae Boyz during their “Road to France” 1998 Fifa World Cup-qualifying campaign.

It underwent a $4-million refurbishment in 2008 courtesy of a number of sponsors, who provided furniture among other things, shortly after the late Captain Burrell regained the post as head of the country's football governing body.

However, the current Michael Ricketts-led administration had promised to do away with the rented property and believes the time has come to vacate and that will be done at month's end.

Ricketts expressed delight that they can now terminate their arrangement with the owners, as the almost $200,000 they were paying for the accommodation can now be funnelled through to other undertakings in the country's football development.

“The facility at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre is in fact ready and we have decided now that it makes no sense to be still paying rent for this facility. So we would have indicated to the owners that we will be terminating the arrangement,” Ricketts told journalists yesterday during a courtesy call on the former Prime Minister.

“Now that we have our own space, that amount of money that we were paying for rent could be directed elsewhere. So it is indeed a fact that we are delighted and we just want to ensure that we make the best use of this new facility and to ensure that we get some positive results while we are domiciled on the property of The University of the West Indies,” he added.

The new building and facilities of 26 rooms situated on the grounds of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, is expected to house 52 players and officials for camps, and will also have the full-size artificial surface in close proximity.

On that note, the JFF president pointed out that paying a courtesy call on Patterson was warranted, as he was a significant source of help to the many teams that resided at the property during pre-tournament camps over the years.During the visit, Ricketts, who was accompanied by General Secretary Dalton Wint, Roy Simpson and Jean Nelson, managers of the Reggae Boyz and Reggae Girlz teams, respectively, handed over a plaque and a gift bag as their token of appreciation.

Patterson, for his part, welcomed the visit and wished the JFF well in their future endeavours.

“I was able, as a good neighbour, to help them in their efforts; they were always welcome, and we also made sure that they got some eye of protection from here, which was necessary and very important in these times. I am happy to have had them. We've treated them as younger members of the family and we wish them well at their new location,” said Patterson.

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