'Step down, Patrick' - Arnett Gardens FC supporters want Golding to take charge
Long-time president of the Arnett Gardens Football Club, Patrick Roberts, is now in a battle to remain in control of the Trench Town-based defending Red Stripe Premier League champions.
When the Sunday Gleaner visited Arnett Gardens yesterday, two days before they host Reno in the Monday night live game at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, supporters were openly calling for his resignation.
Roberts and Member of Parliament for St Andrew South, Mark Golding, have not been seeing eye to eye in recent months over the running of the club.
Roberts, who has been president of Arnett Gardens FC for the past 17 years, has bashed Golding for his lack of financial support to the football club. There have been reports that players have not been fully paid for the past two months, and Arnett Gardens were humiliated 5-1 by league leaders Portmore United at the Spanish Town Prison Oval last Sunday. It was Arnett's worst defeat this season and it extended a five-game winless run.
Yesterday, supporters watching the players at training inside the Anthony Spaulding Complex blamed Roberts for the club's financial crisis and said he should resign and let Golding take over.
"Patrick Roberts must go and leave the thing and let the MP come in and do what him have to do," said Jermaine Dixon.
"Right now, him a stifle the club and him a stifle the whole community because the 'ballers them not getting any money. If them not getting any money, the performance not going to be right," he said.
Marlon Hall said he is saddened by recent happenings and, therefore, Roberts should step aside and let Golding take charge.
"Arnett Gardens' problem right is now is a power struggle between Patrick Roberts and Mark Golding," said Hall.
"The complex needs to be elevated. It needs a lot of work, because it bush up and you can't be the manager or the president and the complex look like this," he said.
When contacted yesterday, Roberts declined to comment on the matter.
"I don't have anything to say right now on this matter," said Roberts.
GIVE GOLDING A CHANCE
Devon McCarthy, who said he has been a supporter of the club for more than 35 years, also called for Roberts to step down and give Golding a chance to take charge.
"This is not good for the club and it is not good for the players, because if the players are not getting paid, then they are not going to perform," said McCarthy. "Mark can do better for the club, so why not give him the club.
"If they can't find the money to run the club, then give the man (Golding) the club because the man say him a go make changes from top to bottom, and that is what the club needs right now," McCarthy said.
Golding was in line to become chairman of the club, replacing former Member of Parliament Dr Omar Davies, but has had disagreements with the current executive over the direction the club should take.
"The present Arnett Gardens FC management did not want to work with my vision, but instead wants to stay on and run it the way it has been run in the past. But if I am not going to have the authority to make the changes I see necessary, I won't be involved at all," Golding told The Gleaner last week.