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Two years - JFF boss puts timeline to franchise proposal

Published:Tuesday | May 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica and Cavalier SC forward Alex Marshall is one of many young local players looking to gain experience to prepare himself for more international exposure.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts said that he is hoping that the proposed franchise system for the national football league will come on stream within the next two years.

Ricketts told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday that franchising is the way forward for the country's football development.

He said that his administration has set up a committee to ensure that all the variables are in place before the competition goes ahead.

"I have always said, and I am still saying, it (franchise system) is the way to go," said Ricketts.

'But it is not going to be easy because we must get the investors first and foremost," he said.

"We must have proper venues, so even if it is not next season or the season after, it is certainly the way to go," Ricketts said.

He added: "We are working on it and we have a committee that has been setup and we want to ensure that it happens, but like I said it is going to be challenging, but we are hopeful and optimistic."

Arising from a retreat in 2014, under then president Captain Horace Burrell, the JFF suggested that it was considering moving Jamaica's top football competition to a 10-team franchise system.

The JFF boss added that a franchise system will also help the local players to better prepare for international competitions.

"We hope that one of these days, sooner than later, franchises will be here," Ricketts said.

"We would be creating a level playing field for a number of players that we would have lost," he said.

"We will now be able to capture these players, and of course, we would have a proper spread. It will be a professional league and our players will be able to transition internationally on a wider scale," Ricketts stated.


Facts surrounding franchising issue:

- Idea originally mooted in 2014 by then JFF President Captain Horace Burrell

- A Franchise Committee, which is chaired by Garry Sinclair, was established and tasked with the responsibility of researching and piloting the transition to a franchise structure.

- Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) against the proposal.