It's their fault - FA boss blames Sandals for likely RSPL relegation
Everton Tomlinson, the president of the Westmoreland FA, said poor decision-making by the management of Sandals South Coast FC as well as their failure to consult are chiefly responsible for the club's likely demotion from the nation's top football league.
With five games left in the season, Sandals' only chance of remaining in the Premier League rests with them getting maximum 15 points from their remaining fixtures and hope that Humble Lion fail to gain a single point from any of their five games.
Sandals have only secured 19 points from their 28 games, winning only four games. Only Boys' Town (17 points from 28 games) have been more dismal. Boys' Town have already been relegated and Sandals coach Aaron Lawrence has conceded that the road is over for his team after just one season in the top flight.
Tomlinson was among the thousands in western Jamaica, who celebrated Sandals' promotion last year. The rise of the Westmoreland team meant that the region would have three teams in the Red Stripe Premier League (Montego Bay United and FC Reno being the others) for the first time since the 2011-2012 season
"I must say I am very, very disappointed and I believe it is as a result of lack of cooperation and trust in the FA. I think they went out on a limb by themselves. They didn't seek assistance or advice from the FA, apparently, they figured they could manage on their own," said Tomlinson.
"Even after they won their game against Boys' Town when the transfer window opened in January, I said to them that the team just started to gel so they don't need to go for players, as that's not the problem or else they would have to get it right all over again. I watch a lot of their games at Frome and saw that the team had a lot of potential, but I guess they didn't care because the money is there, so they spent unwisely," added Tomlinson
While being disappointed about his team's showing, Lawrence said the season has been a learning experience.
"If we are to go back there once more we'll know what to do. I don't think that when you go to the Premier League, you can bring the same set of players from the Super League. We have learnt that the Premier League might look easy, but it's not; especially when you don't have players that have been there before," he said.
"I still have to give credit to the players, management staff and everybody who stuck to it. We still have five games to go, so we are just going to play and enjoy ourselves, letting the young players showcase their talent," said Lawrence.
"We just have to go back, look at where we went wrong and try to fill those gaps at the Super League level when we get there. We have to build from there (Super League) so when we come back to the Premier League, we'll know what it takes to go forward," he added.