By Neto Baptiste
President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and a former general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), EP Chet Greene, has suggested that all three divisions being hosted by the body, be scrapped.
Greene was a guest on Observer radio’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Monday, and when he was asked to render his take on the matter, was not hesitant to suggest that with no clear winners determined through points accumulation across all three divisions, the safest thing would be to rule the season incomplete.
“If there is no team with an unassailable lead in the premiership you cannot declare a winner, because if there is no team with an unassailable lead, then you cannot declare joint winners either. This is an abridged season, the season has prematurely ended, and to me, the ABFA needs to call a halt on the 2019/2020 season, declare it over, because the momentum has gone, and there is no telling when you’ll come back,” he said.
“We have a situation now where a number of the teams have players who are based overseas or imports, and therefore it would be unfair to ask teams to compete without their full roster or register of players,” he added.
Greene offered a similar solution for the First and Second Division competitions, a suggestion that would also see those teams leading the fight for promotion to the higher tiers, having to spend a next season in their respective divisions.
“Just regrettable, but you can’t promote on the basis that someone could have, or could possibly win, because the ball is round and rolling and anything can happen, so the team that is least likely to win out of those five possibilities could emerge the winner and you don’t want these matters ending up in the courts. It is just tough luck or it is the luck of the draw as they call it where nobody can be promoted. It’s either that, or you promote teams based on your feelings or some random equation and you end up in court with persons challenging it,” the administrator said.
As for prize monies, the former GS said the total amount up for grabs in each division should be divided equally amongst the teams.
“I would say that the aggregate prize monies for the 2019/2020 season should be shared equally amongst all the teams in the premiership. Whatever the aggregate amount is, winner, first prize, second prize, third prize, whatever the financial purse is should be shared equally amongst the 10 teams in the premiership,” he said.
Grenades (31 points) holds a two-point advantage in the top flight with their closest rivals, Greenbay Hoppers FC on 29 points. Ottos Rangers lie third with 24 points but can only get to 30 points and a possible second place finish. All teams have played 16 matches.
In the First Division, Empire (42 points), SAP (41 points), FC Aston Villa (39 points), Tryum (39 points) and Blue Jays (36 points) are all in with chances of grabbing one of two automatic promotion spots.
In the Second Division, Garden Stars (51 points), Bendals (51 points), Lion Hill (47 points) and English Harbours (46 points) are poised to take the top spot in Zone A, while in Zone B, JSC Progressors (43 points), Young Lions (40 points) and Green City (37 points) could all still claim the lone promotion spot.