$2 million monthly bill for RSPL newcomers

October 24, 2016
@Normal:Maverley-Hughenden's Andrew Whyte (left) makes a tackle on Tivoli Gardens' Ajuma Johnson in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on September 10. The game ended 1-1.
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Jamalco's players celebrating the team's first goal against Maverley-Hughenden in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Constant Spring playing field on Sunday, September 25
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Almost two months into the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season newly promoted Maverley-Hughenden and Jamalco Football clubs say they are facing monthly expenses of around $2 million, which is a huge leap from their operating costs last season.

Clarendon-based Jamalco competed in the South Central Confederation Super League, while Maverley-Hughenden participated in the Charley's JB Rum Kingston and St Andrew Football Association Super League.

Both clubs say that while the RSPL carries more prestige, it also comes with a bigger monthly price tag.

Maverley-Hughenden administrator Shanett Stewart listed salary, equipment, personnel, nutrition, and coaching as some of the major expenses her club faces each month. In addition, the club plays at a rented facility at the Constant Spring playing field.

"Finance would be an issue, and getting sponsorship would be the biggest challenge for us because of the day-to-day running," she said.

"The money we would have had in the Super League, while we would have been able to make things stretch, we have to have a strict budget to stay on, and everything will take money," she added.

Jamalco's coach Rayon Johnson listed improving the standard of the team's game as a challenge.

"When we were playing in the Super League, it was easier because the teams were playing for playing sake, but now, we have something real that we have to play for and all eyes are on the Premier League and we have to up the tempo."

Jamalco, which plays at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Clarendon, also has its own financial worries.

"We had to step up a whole lot. Staff had to improve and stipend. It's around $2 million, but in the beginning, it takes more because transfer window takes a lot and equipment," Johnson said.

"We try to get as much volunteerism as possible, but I don't think in Jamaica people understand volunteerism," Stewart told STAR Sports of Maverley's move to bridge the financial gap.

With the prize money at the end of the nine months of the RSPL only $1 million, both clubs said the prestige and hype of the Premier League are more of a reward.

"You can't put a price on bragging rights. Is it worth it? I want to say yes, but it's not going to be the most confident yes you will hear, but the exposure, it's a nice nine months of labour," Stewart said.

Johnson concurred, adding that the possibility of players getting exposure for foreign leagues is also a draw.

"If you can get players to play well and get them to move on to the MLS or European team, where they can make a name for themselves, but I don't think there really is much benefit," he said.

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