President Michael Ricketts says the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has reduced its debt of nearly $300 million to $238 million as of December 2020.
Ricketts made the announcement at the JFF’s Annual General Meeting in St Mary on Saturday.
“We have worked diligently to cut costs wherever we can, even with limited sponsorship,” Ricketts told those in attendance. “This year will be particularly challenging as we have the World Cup qualifiers to fund.”
Ricketts mentioned what he found to be positives that had taken place recently under his watch and explained why he believed that the country’s football is headed in the right direction even in the face of a pandemic. He was particularly happy that steps are being taken to get local players back into action.
“We are very happy that just Wednesday of this week, the [Sport Ministry] announced that arising out of discussions with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the technical teams from both ministries will begin a series of meetings with the sporting associations regarding the resumption of some of their activities,” he said.
“I, therefore, use the opportunity to advise you that as per this communication, all requests for training and competitions or events must be submitted to the Ministry of Sport.”
He reiterated that clubs, affiliates, and event organisers must submit requests through the JFF.
ENSURE FOOTBALL RETURNS SOON
“The JFF has been very deliberate in working positively with the ministries and meeting the requirements to ensure that football returns as soon as it is possible to do so. We intend in these discussions to not only discuss the Premier League, but all competitions at the parish level, including youth and women’s football.”
Ricketts says he is elated about the progress made by the Premier League Jamaica Interim Committee, a body that he commissioned at the start of 2020.
“We asked the President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Mr Christopher Samuda, to chair this committee, and we invited members of the Premier League clubs, representatives of the JFF board, and some independent persons to sit on this committee,” he said. “The mandate was to review the existing commercial, operational, and governance structures, policies, and arrangements of the Jamaica Premier League and recommend proposals for the improvement of these structures, policies, and arrangements and prepare a three-year business plan covering the 2020-21 and 2022-23 seasons.”
Ricketts also mentioned the formation of Professional Football Jamaica Limited to drive the commercialisation of the league, and over time, all professional competitions, as another positive of his tenure. He said that over $100 million in sponsorships and partnerships has been garnered over the last three months