Donovan calls for bigger prizes
The Barbados Football Association (BFA) needs to make some fundamental and strategic changes.
And according to former general secretary Adrian Donovan, some of these changes needed to be implemented before a ball was kicked for the upcoming football season.
In a wide-ranging interview with NATIONSPORT yesterday, Donovan highlighted several critical points he said needed to be addressed immediately.
The long-serving president of Paradise Football Club said it was “music to his ears” when at the launch of the LIME Pelican Football Challenge back in August, BFA president Ronald Jones revealed that the association had received $3.5 million in a major deal as well as $1.5 million from FIFA.
However, with the new season scheduled to begin in mid-February, Donovan pointed to the need for prize monies to be increased across the board and to be paid punctually.
“The fact that the BFA has received sponsorship means that the financial aspect should not be a problem.
“Not only is there a need for players in the Premier League and Division One to be better rewarded, but also those players who compete in the lower divisions,” he stressed.
He also said the inability of football teams to have home matches was a major concern.
“It is also quite ridiculous that in this day and age that clubs have to wait until the beginning of a new season before they are paid for their achievements from the previous season. The time has come for clubs to be paid immediately after the end of the season.”
Donovan, who is also a senior official at the National Sports Council, maintained that Barbados was the only football nation in the world where clubs played a whole season and did not have a fixture at home.
This meant, he said, that fans who wanted to see their sides play, often had to travel long distances, sometimes during the middle of the week, which he claimed was inconvenient.
He was of the view that the BFA needed to find ways to ensure that teams were allowed to play home games, and if those teams did not have proper facilities at which to host a football match, then they should not be eligible to compete in any BFA competitions.
Donovan also knocked the BFA’s “lacklustre approach” towards developing its youth programme.
“There needs to be a serious revamping of the Tiger Malt Football Competition. How can there be only one major BFA-sponsored football tournament for our youngsters in an entire year?” he asked.
“The youth developmental programme has been in disarray for years, and the BFA needs to find a way to restructure it so that it can become more efficient and effective in developing our young players.”