RSPL clubs faced with squad cuts
With the coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on Jamaica's economy, at least two Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) clubs will implement major cuts, including to their squads, to reduce their spending bills.
Arnett Gardens have announced that they will restructure the club to reduce their expenses while the management team of Cavalier FC is set to meet tomorrow to figure out how they can cut back.
Arnett Gardens chairman Mark Golding said in a statement: "The crisis necessitates tough decisions being taken by the club. Arnett Gardens will have to restructure our costs based on an effort to become a more resilient and sustainable organisation. The club is undertaking its overheads, starting with the size of the squad for the upcoming season as we prepare to resume operations with a lower projected income."
Cavalier FC technical director Rudolph Speid said that although his club has always operated on a tight budget, he and other members of the management team will have to find more ways to cut costs because he does not want the club to be in a position where it cannot pay its bills.
"There will be additional costs because of COVID-19 like masks, individual water bottles, sanitiser, and other stuff," Speid said. "We will have our meeting to see how we will go about it."
Arnett Gardens head coach Alex Thomas told STAR Sports that he understood the decision the administration has to take and that he would continue to do his part to ensure that the team achieves its target of making it to the playoffs.
"I will have to play whatever hand that I am given," he said. "These are tough times, and the administration will do what they have to do, but I can't focus on that. I just have to try to get the best out of the squad."
In late May, the Jamaica Football Federation ruled the 2019-20 Red Stripe Premier League season null and void after it was suspended for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many stakeholders, like Speid, believed that it would be impossible to restart with only revenue streams such as gate receipts, considering the additional costs to implement measures that will prevent the spread of the virus.
Clubs will have to grapple with this reality in the upcoming season as the Government's ban on public gatherings will prevent fans from entering the stands of football stadiums in the near future.
"There remains considerable uncertainty as to when public- health imperatives will ease to the point of allowing matches to be played with spectators in an industry where gate receipts provide an important revenue stream," Golding said.
Speid said: "Gate receipt was never a big thing for us, but not having it will put us at a greater disadvantage."