Jamaica Reggae Boyz custodian, Andre Blake, has insisted that wages are not the only concern for the players of the national team as protracted and hotly disputed contractual negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) continues.
As far as wage demands are concerned, the players and football governing body remain miles apart. For the upcoming World Cup qualification campaign, the players have for instance asked for US$7000 (US$1,037,498) per player, per match, with a US$1000 ($148,214) win bonus. The JFF has argued that financial constraints will only allow them to offer US$2000 ($296,428) per match. With 14 matches to play for the qualifiers, the JFF could spend US$77,000 per game, for just the starting 11.
While the wages remain a major bone of contention yet to be ironed out, Blake insists there are other issues.
“It’s not just about the money because JFF will never be able to pay us what we really deserve or what we are valued. I’ve been playing for Jamaica for US$250, US$300 even free and gone to the Caribbean Cup and all over the world playing for Jamaica, but we have endured treatment for too long now,”
Blake said in a recent television interview.
“Putting the money aside the JFF organisation needs to be better, the communication needs to be better, the structure needs to be better. It’s just the way that they go about everything. The voice note that leaked the other day about the negotiations is the perfect example of what goes on behind the scenes. The players are at a point where they have had enough.”