The Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) kicked off their 10-team First Division league on Sunday last at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground, with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) handing over $1M to the Association to aid in the execution of the league.
It was an initiative of the Normalisation Committee, after Chairman Clinton Urling, had visited the community to oversee the election of their Executive headed by former Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon.
After handing over a quantity of balls to the UDFA, Urling had told the clubs that gathered at the LEN Building on October 1, that the GFF will also be giving financial assistance to the sum of $1M.
According to Urling “Linden has not had any significant football competitions being played in 2015 as a result of administrative issues with the UDFA, so the GFF is delighted to see the return of football in the region”
He added “moreover, the Normalisation Committee welcomes the initiative by the new Executives of the UDFA to host a League that will ensure consistent and sustainable football being played in the region”
Urling also stated the Normalisation Committee is committed to supporting the GFF’s member associations with financial support for competitions once detailed proposals are submitted.
“We must complement the UDFA executives for the robustness of their plans and timeliness of submission of their plans for the League” Urling said.
“It’s a step in the right direction and we want to personally thank the Normalisation Committee and the GFF for lending a hand” said Solomon in an invited comment.
The UDFA President pointed out that “even before I came into football, we always hear about the GFF receiving assistance from FIFA and I always felt that some of that should somehow reach the member association and I’m happy that the Normalisation Committee and the GFF has ensured that associations start to benefit from the FIFA assistance, even if it’s in a small, meaningful way; we’re grateful”
Meanwhile, Solomon highlighted that along with the First Division League, simultaneously, the UDFA will host an Under-17 league which he said was made possible through the GFF’s intervention.
Solomon also highlighted that “what we’re happy about is that the clubs understand the position we’re in with regards to getting sponsorship and funding, so they have agreed to use the gates as payments”
Solomon explained that 40% of the overall revenue earned at the gate will be given the to winner of the league, 20% to second place team, 10% for the third place finisher and the UDFA take 5%.
The remaining 25% will be shared amongst the other clubs.
Apart from the shared revenue, Solomon said that “each club was given 100 tickets to sell in their communities and to their supporters and those tickets are sold at $300 and at the gate people have to pay $500. So I want to commend the clubs for supporting this idea because it will only benefit them in the long run”
The participating teams are: Amelia’s Ward Panthers, Milerock, Net Rockers, Silver Shattas, Hi-Stars, Botofago, Winners Connection, Topp XX, Eagles United and Blue Berry Hill United.