Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Inactivity putting financial strain on D’holden, Molynes

Published:Wednesday | December 2, 2020 | 12:14 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Dunbeholden’s Shevan James beats Molynes United’s Anthony Greenland (front) to a header during their National Premier League game at the Constant Spring Sports Complex last December.
Dunbeholden’s Shevan James beats Molynes United’s Anthony Greenland (front) to a header during their National Premier League game at the Constant Spring Sports Complex last December.
CHRISTIE
CHRISTIE
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Dunbeholden manager Paul Christie and Molynes United President Herman Cruickshank are frustrated about the latest postponement of the National Premier League and its impact on their clubs.

The league is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Health and Wellness after the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) resubmitted COVID-19 protocols for its start, which includes the measures for the proposed centralised venues. A tentative date was set for November 14, but the delay in securing approval has pushed back the start, with a decision on the protocols not expected until January.

Christie says that the delay for the approval is affecting Dunbeholden financially.

“For us at Dunbeholden, it is draining all our resources because you have basically put a [preseason] programme in place,” he said. “However, in the case based on the fact that we [don’t have] a definitive date, we would have tried to continue and get the preparation without the help of any sponsors.”

It is a sentiment shared by Cruickshank, as he says that the process in engaging sponsors has been hampered by no start date.

“Most people won’t commit anything to you right now, because there is no date,” he said. “We get a lot of promises, but no commitment in terms of money.”

League football has not been played in over eight months because of the pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the 2019-20 season.

Christie says that the continued absence of top-flight football has affected the morale of the coaches and other staff, and awaiting a decision in January leaves them struggling for motivation to prepare.

“[From] the football side of it, it’s kind of difficult to motivate your coaching staff, because your coaches would have [been looking forward to] the start of the season. But, however, this is not the case right now,” he said. “I can tell you; I can see it in their body language, I can hear it in the tone when we have our meetings. The air of uncertainty is of great concern.”

MANAGING FIFA FUNDS

Cruickshank says that the $1.2-million COVID-19 relief package received from the JFF, given to it by FIFA, has helped with executing their preseason training so far, with the majority of it spent on weekly stipends for players. However, he says that with the funds depleting, the club will have to manage its resources carefully.

“We are frustrated, because the money is going down now,” he said. “In fact, it’s almost finished. We can hold out, but it is going to be a difficult task, because most of the [players] don’t have anything else but the football. It is a difficult task, but we [will have to] cut and carve.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com