Former national midfielder Omar Daley said Jamaica’s footballers need better salaries. The well-travelled player, who has played in England, the United States and Scotland for teams such as Reading and Motherwell, told The Gleaner that in his travels and experiences players are the main ingredient of the football product and their importance is usually recognised by huge wage packages in professional leagues. However, Daley, back home playing in the local leagues with his long-time club Portmore United, thinks Jamaica is way behind in this regard and needs to follow suit and pay local players more, so they can elevate their standard of living. “Players have to get better pay and people have to start talking about players getting better paycheques in Jamaica,” he told The Gleaner in an interview, while attending the Red Stripe weekly press conference for clubs participating in the Premier League at Red Stripe Hospitality Room last Friday. “People sweep it under the carpet, which I don’t get. Players have bills, they have kids, so we need to big up players and talk about players’ wages. We are professional footballers, playing in a professional league, so why are we not getting professional money?” he enquired. Daley believes corporate Jamaica has a very important role to play if the Premier League is to go fully professional, and he says more money means improved performances. “I need to see articles calling on corporate Jamaica to support the Premier League. It’s only Red Stripe and Sportsmax; we need more people on board. They can sponsor teams, players and help teams because they spend money every day.” He also complained that Jamaica is the only country he has played in where local players struggle to make ends meet. “Players need better pay, players must roll in style. You can’t walk around saying you are a footballer and you can’t roll in style, that is embarrassing. Plus, when players get better pay, you get better quality football,” he insisted. He added: “I really hope financially the players will be okay because on a Sunday they go out to entertain, and after the game they are supposed to go home hungry. “It makes no sense ‘bigging’ up the brand (Premier League) and you are not ‘bigging’ up the players. The players are the most important part of the product. So reach out, corporate Jamaica, and sponsor the Premier League teams.” -L.S.