Wednesday 28 October, 2020

RSPL clubs could ask players to take up to 50 per cent pay cut

Portmore United's players pose with the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) trophy after beating Waterhouse 1-0 in the final of the 2018-2019 season on Monday, April 29, 2019 at the National Stadium.

Portmore United's players pose with the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) trophy after beating Waterhouse 1-0 in the final of the 2018-2019 season on Monday, April 29, 2019 at the National Stadium.

Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) clubs could cut the pay of their players by up to 50 per cent because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) announced on Wednesday through a press release on its Facebook page.

Clubs around the globe have been reducing employee salaries and even furloughing staff amid the ongoing crisis.

Players from the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have accepted either pay cuts or wage freezes.

Coronavirus, which has infected about 900,000 people worldwide and killed over 44,000, has wreaked havoc on worldwide sport, with football suspended indefinitely amid the pandemic.

The release from the PLCA stated that the “directors met virtually to discuss a proposal on options for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season of the RSPL. There were four options tables; three of those provided for completion of the league, commencing at different start dates in May or June or July while the other was for cancellation. Payment of salaries and other costs during the non-playing period, should the league be completed, was also discussed.”

The release, which has the name of its chairman Mike Henry affixed to it, further stated that “payment of salaries to players and staff in April and additional non-playing periods would be at the discretion of the clubs but are not to exceed 50 per cent thereof.

Football in Jamaica was suspended on March 12 as a result of an announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to impose a two-week ban on some public gatherings in order to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus. 

The PLCA release pointed out that the association has now decided to extend the suspension of the RSPL indefinitely.

“On resumption of the league full salaries will be paid. It must be emphasized that any and all reduced payments are unrelated to and not determined by PLCA’s sponsors’ agreement and are based solely on the management decisions of each club.”

The release also stated that “sponsors are committed to honour completion of their contracts on resumption and completion of the league. The clubs, in turn, will directly and through PLCA honour their obligations in all respects.”

The release also stated that the government’s mandates in respect to COVID-19 will guide any final decision on the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.

“Suspension on playing will continue until further notice, again contingent on government’s guideline,” the release said.

Jamaica has to date recorded 38 cases of COVID-19, one of which involves a healthcare worker. Two persons have died from complications from the disease.

At the time of the RSPL suspension and with just four regular-season games remaining, Waterhouse led the 12-team competition with 54 points, one ahead of second-place Mount Peasant Football Academy. Two-time defending champions Portmore United and Humble Lion, which have played 28 games, one less than the top two,  are locked on 46 points in third and fourth place respectively.  Tivoli Gardens and Dunbeholden FC, which are locked on 43 points, round off the top six.

At the end of the regular-season games,  the top two teams on points will advance straight to the semi-finals; while third to sixth place will enter into a playoff for the other two semi-final spots. The top team at the end of the preliminary round will also win $1 million. And the bottom two teams will be relegated.

The bottom two teams - UWI FC and Vere United FC, both on 18 points from 29 games, are all but relegated.


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