No pay, no play.
Already short on money, the Barbados Football Association (BFA) could this year be also without its Premier League kings.
That’s because defending champs Weymouth Wales have threatened not to take to the field unless they were paid last season’s prize money.
Wales’ president Mark Armstong made the stance public yesterday after news broke that the BFA might not be able to cover the $140 000 in prize money owed to clubs.
“It might be an amateur sport, but it’s expensive because we have to buy gear, pay club and player registration, pay player transfer fees and organize transportation, among other things,” Armstrong said in a telephone interview.
“So, we already let the president know we will not be playing unless we are paid, or unless he can come up with a sufficient payment plan that we can agree on.
“I am not sure how the BFA is going to work this out, or what course of action they plan to take, but we are supposed to meet with them again [tomorrow] and I’m saying they must have a direction with regards to how they plan to pay us or we will not play,” Armstrong stressed.
The stance taken by Wales followed the disclosure this week that the BFA could face a serious shortfall following a reduction in the FIFA grant due to a previously requested advance.
And the clubs aren’t the only ones awaiting monies, as BFA president Randy Harris also disclosed it owed referees $59 000 because the previous administration failed to pay them for the last two seasons.
But unlike the officials’ body, clubs such as Wales and Brittons Hill – owed a combined $28 000 – aren’t willing to be as patient with the new executive.
“They owe us, like $21 000 in total, for coming second in both the Premier League and the knockout, so, of course, our initial stance is that we will not play unless we are paid,” said Fabian Wharton, manager of Brittons Hill.
“I mean, we all want the football to play, but there are a lot of things to look at, and given the cost of playing football right now, it must be paid to us.”
“However, we are going to have some more discussions [tomorrow] and we will look at other options before we [take] a definitive position on whether we are playing or not,” Wharton added.
Armstrong ran against Harris for the BFA presidency in the October general elections, while Wharton previously served as assistant treasurer.