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Jamaican Football Clubs Under Pressure

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Despite the increased sponsorship money negotiated by the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), the majority of the 12 participating clubs in Jamaica's Digicel Premier League, are bracing for the worst in the current economic climate. Each club now receives an average of $Jamaican 4m a season (about £35,000) or more than five times the $J 750,000 they would have received three years ago. The PLCA currently earns around $J 80m in sponsorship from companies, including league title sponsors Digicel Locker Room, Sports Gear, RBTT and their media partners - the Jamaica Observer, KLAS and the RJR Communication Group trio of TVJ, TVJ Sports Network and Hitz 92FM. The PLCA was formed in the 2006-7 season. Each club receives an equal amount of sponsorship. However, even with the assistance of the PLCA, the majority of clubs are struggling to meet their monthly expenses.

President of Arnett Gardens, Patrick Roberts, said while the contribution from the PLCA far exceeds what clubs used to receive, they are still struggling to pay their bills on a monthly basis. Arnett Gardens costs anywhere between $Jamaican 18m dollars to $J 22m a year to run. The wage bill is about $J 250,000 to $J 300,000 per month. The club has been helped by the recent sale of Donovan Ricketts to MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy. Clubs that stage night games have reported increased earnings from their gate receipts.