Western Grandstand : Time to send PLCA packing

April 29, 2017
Carvel Stewart
Seaga
Orville Powell
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Western Bureau:

It would appear that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is either embarrassment-proof or is flying on autopilot, totally oblivious to what is happening to the nation's football.

The Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), for one, is a mockery of our once proud club football heritage.

I found the recent situation which played out on national television between Orville Powell, the owner of RSPL champions Montego Bay United FC (MBUFC), the Edward Seaga-led Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and Don Anderson-led PFAJ as more befitting a comedy show than a serious attempt to fix a troublesome situation.

I understand why Powell went public about his team not being given what should be a mandatory monthly disbursement of funds by the PLCA, since the league's other 11 competing teams are getting the benefit, and I found the PLCA's response laughable at best.

Listening to PLCA official Carvel Stewart explain why MBUFC was left out in the cold leaves me to wonder if he sees the RSPL as serious competition or just as an unstructured Sunday afternoon kick-around.

 

WITHDRAWING MEMBERSHIP

 

While it might well be true that in writing to the PLCA and expressing the desire to withdraw its membership from the PLCA the management of MBU might have indicated that they did not want to benefit financially from the PLCA, that argument becomes irrelevant, once MBUFC remained a participant in the league.

As ridiculous as it would be, if MBUFC were allowed to play in the RSPL without being under the umbrella of the PLCA, then Stewart's position would be understandable. However, any such scenario would have made absolutely no sense because as the Professional Footballers Association of Jamaica (PFAJ) rightly explained, once the team is playing in the league, it goes without saying that they must be part of the league.

It is good that Anderson chose to act wisely, albeit after legal advice, because if he didn't, one would be forced to conclude that the entire structure of national football is a total mess.

What I did not like about Anderson's involvement was the absence of a take-charge attitude, which led to the so-called negotiated settlement. Based on my understanding of the chain of command in national football, the PFAJ has responsibility for the operations of local clubs, which means the PLCA should be answerable to the PFAJ, and not the other way around.

Frankly speaking, I am sick and tired of the PLCA. I believe the time has come for the JFF to reclaim the mandate given to the federation by its affiliates and use that authority to review the arrangement with the PLCA. In fact, I would be happy if a way could be found to banish the PLCA from national football.

Based on the way I have seen the PLCA handled some recent situations, I feel the organisation is a threat to a viable football future. I believe the time has come for that organisation to take a back seat to the various parish associations, which should be the real power brokers in Jamaica's football.

If the ongoing pettiness that has been a feature of the strained relationship between the PLCA and MBU is allowed to continue, when the JFF wakes up from its slumber, it might just find out that our once beautiful Premier League is out on the kerb, holding no greater significance than a community corner league.

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