Football analyst and coach Andrew Price says the Jamaica Football Federation should not have gone into negotiations with Phoenix Academy CEO and coach Craig Butler over the availability of Leon Bailey for the national senior team. It has been reported Butler went into negotiations with the local governing body over a ‘package’ deal for the Bayer Leverkusen player that would also have seen younger brother Kyle Butler also being given a national call-up.
This led to questions surrounding Bailey's commitment to the Reggae Boyz. However, speaking on the Sports Reporters Gang on Hitz 92 FM on Sunday, Price said the JFF went about their business wrongly.
“He (Bailey) must prove his willingness to play for the country and as I said, there is nowhere in the world that agent’s negotiate on behalf of professional footballers to play for their country. The Jamaica Football Federation is going down a very slippery slope when you sit down with an agent to decide if a player can play for the country and there are conditionalities surrounding the actual playing of that player, the JFF needs to nip it in the bud and move on,” noted Price.
Price added that the JFF needs to make a decision on the issue quickly and not give Butler who is also Bailey's agent, the upper-hand on the program.
“Find out from Leon Bailey, are you committed to playing for the country? If you are, then let’s get this thing going; if not move on. We cannot make him (Craig Butler) hold us to ransom and set any precedence that will damage us in the future,” said Price.