After a season without sponsorship for the first time in roughly 80 years, the St James Football Association's Senior League will be sponsored by the hotel chain, Sandals Resorts— at least for the upcoming season.
Wayne Cummings, Director, Business Processes and Administration at Sandals Resorts International in confirming that the company will sponsor the league, said yesterday that "at this point we are committed to this season," but he did not rule out further extensions to the league that he said would be called the Sandals/ATL Senior League.
He said "we know of their challenges (St James FA) and as a good corporate citizen, we wanted to play our part".
Sources close to the negotiations told Observer West that the deal was almost done and just "minor details" were left to be worked out.
Sandals has sponsored the St James Division One competition for a number of years, before ending the arrangements some years ago. The hotel chain, however, returned last year with the sponsorship of the St James Under 17 and Under 20 competitions.
When contacted on Tuesday, David Watt, the acting president of the St James FA, who took over from Texchus Nembhard, declined to confirm whether the hotel chain would be the new sponsors but said "we had meetings with a prospective major sponsor and we are scheduled to have more meetings so I am not at liberty to disclose anything at this moment".
Whoever the sponsor is Watt told Observer West, "we are extremely pleased that we have found a sponsor, this is a welcomed gift to us to ensure we have a successful season".
Last season, the St James FA failed in their efforts to secure sponsorships for two of their four club competitions, the Senior League and Division One competitions, while the Knock-out was sponsored by Captain's Bakery and the Division Two by Guardian Life.
Watt also told Observer West that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect a new executive to run the sport in the parish for the next two seasons, would be held soon.
"We could have gone ahead and hold the AGM, but we did not want to do so without an audited financial report and we have been given assurances that we should have them soon," he explained.
The election for president is shaping up to be a straight race between veteran coach and former Test cricket umpire Steve Bucknor and football executive Gregory Daley.
Two years ago, Bucknor lost by a single vote to Nembhard in the closest race ever for the position.