Parish associations consider relationship with PFJL
Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) General Secretary Dwayne Dillon says the ongoing reorganisation of local football administration will impact the future relationship between the parish associations and the new body responsible for the National Premier League.
Dillon was speaking at Thursday’s Gleaner Editors’ Forum, which discussed the future of club football in Jamaica and the role of the Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) in bringing the National Premier League to a professional standard.
The PFJL has replaced the now-defunct Premier League Clubs Association as the new body responsible for the marketing and promotion of the nation’s top flight.
In addressing how KSAFA and other parish associations that operate the lower-tier competitions will work with the new organisation, Dillon says that the issue of governance would have to be addressed, as the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is currently in the process of reorganising the local structure.
“The JFF itself is going through a restructuring [phase]. The outcomes of that restructuring will impact the relationship with the new Premier League body, the parish associations, etcetera,” Dillon said.
Dillon said that addressing how football will be administered in the future is critical in determining the new dynamic between the parties.
“It’s important that we get the governance proper from the top, and once that is done, then we will be able to deal with things from a governance perspective,” Dillon said.
As the country moves towards a modern approach to football administration, JFF technical committee chairman, Rudolph Speid, says that parish associations must accelerate the process of converting their teams into Concacaf-licensed clubs, which is hindering the path towards professionalisation.
“Every club in Jamaica is supposed to be a Concacaf-certified club. Now there are only 12 clubs here that even bothered to try and fill out the form,” Speid said. “We need all the parish associations to ensure that their clubs are adhering to these things that we are trying to get installed.”
Speid said that some clubs still lacked bank accounts as part of the wider process of upgrading their administrative standards, and says that without the cooperation of all stakeholders, Jamaican football cannot become recognised professionally.
As part of the latest changes to the football structure, the National Premier League will only have promotion from the lower tiers for the next two seasons, including the upcoming 2020/21 campaign. This means that the number of teams will increase from 12 to 16 when the 2022/23 season starts. Additionally, Speid said that the creation of a tier two competition similar to the National Premier League is part of the long-term technical plan.
St Thomas Football Association president, Wayne Thompson, said based on the intended direction of the PFJL, there would be adequate support for 16 teams, and he doesn’t anticipate changes to their current promotional structure until the establishment of the new tier two league.
“You’ll still have the teams playing in the various regions and you will still have the qualification through that process until the tier two is established. So, there will be no issue as far as I’m concerned,” Thompson said.