Rayne: Promise of pay unrealistic while player cap unjustified

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Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) presidency hopeful, Joel Rayne, has boldly declared that compensating clubs competing in the association’s Premier Division is not very high on his agenda.
Rayne, who said he will not contest the election as part of a slate but as an independent candidate, does not believe it would be financially feasible to offer clubs a percentage of gate receipts until there is increased viewership for the top flight competition.
“With spectatorship constantly dropping and not improving over the past few seasons, where is this money coming from to offer the Premier Division clubs appearance fees. We have to be frank and realistic and we can’t just come with these pie-in-the-sky proposals just to win an election,” he said.
“The ABFA, as it stands right now, do not have the resources or the money to give the Premier Division clubs any appearance fees so what we need to do is to put a development programme in place; develop players and improve the product,” he added. 
Rayne, president of the Potters Football Club, also shot down the idea of a quota being placed on the number of imported players allowed to represent any one team in the ABFA leagues.
According to the former ABFA executive member, the imports have served, in some ways, to improve the quality of the leagues, adding he would not rush to restrict their participation in the any of the divisions.
“Most likely, the level of football will not be the same because you have to admit that these overseas players bring something to the game. I am not saying it is not something to look at, but on the face of it you have to say that when we would have developed our players better or even equal to the talent of the imported players, then we can say we are at a point where we have enough locally-based players that perhaps we don’t really need to have so many overseas-based players,” he said. 
Despite his position on the issue however, Rayne believes the current executive has skirted the issue for too long.
“It is the club’s responsibility to go out there and win championships and it is the ABFA’s role to develop [players] so is this really a decision for the clubs to make. It is a decision for the ABFA to make in terms of a cap. This is a decision but we want to pass off the buck because we are afraid to make tough decisions but this is really a decision for the ABFA to make,” the candidate said.
The ABFA elections, originally slated for May 13, has since been rescheduled to May 22 to accommodate the executive’s participation in the FIFA Congress to be held in Bahrain.

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