By Neto Baptiste
Former national coach and defender, Ivor Luke, has called on sporting clubs to be more responsible in how they go about spending and or investing funds provided by sponsors and or donors.
His calls come on the heels of statements by MP for the St. Peters constituency and sponsor and General Secretary of the Parham football Club, Asot Michael, who announced on another media house on Saturday that he’d spent five million dollars over the last 20 years on football in the community.
According to Luke, Parham ought to have more to show from a tangible standpoint.
“I have never seen so much dumbness in the communities and this is not just Parham, it’s in all of the communities basically. If you carry kids into the parks and they want to go to the bathroom they can’t, and a lot of the fields now don’t have buses like before. It is a problem now to even have bathroom facilities or a roof over their heads and you have clubs that are paying over one hundred thousand [$100,000.00] yearly, bringing people here and putting them up to win the most $20 or $25,000.00 and I’ve been saying that for years. It is not football alone because cricket is virtually the same,” he said.
The former Lion Hill Spliff player said clubs must build a base for the development of players within their respective communities and not focus on the importation of talent.
“Every year they beg the politicians for money and run to the politicians as sponsors in order to get money to bring in players and actually, in the First Division, they are bringing in players just to go to the Premier Division and the sport cannot develop in this time without you having a proper structure in place like some sort of meeting place where the players can socialise after practice, or on a weekend you can go to the clubhouse and do something positive with the youths, there is nothing,” Luke said.
The once-feared defender further encouraged clubs to get their houses in order if they are to attract meaningful sponsorship.
“If you go to most of these clubs and see if they have any kind of plans or rudimentary drawings for a clubhouse or anything, most of them have nothing because they are waiting on the politicians to build it. The next thing with the politician which is always a problem is that sometimes they don’t even consult with the communities or the clubs within the communities and say hey, we are going to do this and what do you think,” he said.
Parham has gained a reputation over the years as a club popular for the mass importation of players ahead of the football association’s Premier Division.
A number of other clubs have also embraced the practice with Old Road and Grenades importing in excess of seven players each for the 2019/20 domestic season.