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NGC gives Super League $1.2 million; competition expands to two divisions

The National Gas Company (NGC) will pump TT$1.2 million into the National Super League for its 2015/16 season as the domestic second tier competition prepares for a second lease of life under All Sport Promotions.

The most dramatic change for the retitled CNG National Super League is a new two level competition, which sees its 25 teams split into a Premiership Division and Championship Division.

Photo: Guaya United celebrates a goal from Russell Alfred (second from right) during a 2013 Super League clash with Westside Superstarz. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Guaya United celebrates a goal from Russell Alfred (second from right) during a 2013 Super League clash with Westside Superstarz.
(Courtesy Wired868)

The Premiership Division teams are: 1976 FC Phoenix, Bethel United, Club Sando Moruga, Defence Force, Guaya United, FC Santa Rosa, Marabella Family Crisis Centre, Matura ReUnited, NLCB La Horquetta SA, Petrotrin Palo Seco, Police FC, Real Maracas, Siparia Spurs, Stokely Vale FC and WASA FC.

The Championship Division teams are: Barrackpore United, Chaguanas FC, Cunupia FC, Edinburgh 500, Malabar FC, Petit Valley United, Prison Service FC, Queen’s Park CC, Saddle Hill Hotspurs and UTT.

The Premiership’s champion team will pocket TT$240,000 while second to fourth will receive TT$120,000, TT$100,000 and TT$80,000 respectively.

The Championship winner is due TT$140,000 with TT$100,000, TT$80,000 and TT$60,000 respectively for the second, third and fourth place finishers.

All 25 clubs will participate in a Super League cup competition, which carries a TT$100,000 first prize with TT$50,000 for second and TT$25,000 each for the two losing semifinalists.

Photo: WASA and ex-Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John (right and partially hidden) is swarmed my teammates after scoring the winning penalty against DIRECTV W Connection in the Toyota Classic Cup preliminary round. (Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)
Photo: WASA and ex-Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John (right and partially hidden) is swarmed my teammates after scoring the winning penalty against DIRECTV W Connection in the Toyota Classic Cup preliminary round.
(Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)

There will be cash prizes for the top individual players as well.

The top five Premiership players of the year will pocket TT$2,500 each with an additional TT$5,000 for the Most Valuable Player. While the top five Championship players will receive TT$1,500 each with TT$3,000 for the MVP.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee hailed All Sport marketing manager Anthony Harford for snaring a cash sponsorship deal for local football. Although, arguably crucially, the money will be managed by All Sport and not the TTFA.

“With most of the other sponsors, we get kind but not cash,” said Tim Kee.

The Super League, which started in 2001 under then TTFF president Oliver Camps, has always been run by All Sport with the exception of last season. Harford’s hiatus was forced due to friction with then Sport Minister Anil Roberts, which led to Tim Kee’s decision not to renew his contract at the time.

Harford suggested that the break strengthened the Super League clubs’ enthusiasm towards All Sport and his organisation was happy to reclaim the mantle.

Photo: Club Sando striker Kevon Woodley (left) battles for the ball with San Juan Jabloteh defender Dillon Kirton during the TTFA FA Trophy quarterfinal in Malabar. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Club Sando striker Kevon Woodley (left) battles for the ball with San Juan Jabloteh defender Dillon Kirton during the TTFA FA Trophy quarterfinal in Malabar.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Tomorrow, we will usher in a new era with the first matches in the new Championship level of the Super League,” said Harford. “After our enforced hiatus for just one year, we are delighted that our relationship has been renewed.”

NGC president Curtis Mohammed made a pitch for the safety and cost effectiveness of compressed natural gas as well as his organisation’s own history of supporting sport. Brand ambassador and West Indies cricketer Darren Bravo was present at the launch while Mohammed pointed to their sponsorship of star hurdler Jehue Gordon, West Indies Test cricket captain Denesh Ramdin and the recently concluded Women’s Premier League (WPL).

“We are not just about setting up CNG stations,” said Mohammed, “we are about getting involved in an integral passion of Trinidad and Tobago…

“We recognise how important the Super League is to the national community and, with the ‘Soca Warriors’ on the verge of the qualifying campaign for Russia 2018, we are happy to play our part.”

Sport Minister Brent Sancho did not attend the press conference but Ministry of Sport official Gabre McTair assured clubs that the Government would absorb most of the cost for air travel between the two islands.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Rundell Winchester (left) tussles with New Zealand captain and ex-West Ham defender Winston Reid during a senior international friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in December 2013. Winchester made his senior debut in the Super League with Stokely Vale. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Rundell Winchester (left) tussles with New Zealand captain and ex-West Ham defender Winston Reid during a senior international friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in December 2013.
Winchester made his senior debut in the Super League with Stokely Vale.
(Courtesy Wired868)

There are three Tobago teams in the CNG Super League and, according to McTair, there would be roughly 80 trips back and forth between the islands at a cost of around TT$500,000.

The Sport Ministry promised to also consider applications from Super League teams for subventions similar to the funds provided to Pro League clubs, which vary from TT$60,000 to TT$83,000 per month.

McTair did not give a deadline for the Sport Ministry’s decision regarding Super League subventions.

Photo: WASA FC veteran Stern John (centre) is all smiles before his decisive kick against W Connection as he congratulates teammate Ethan Robinson during the 2014 Toyota Classic. (Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)
Photo: WASA FC veteran Stern John (centre) is all smiles before his decisive kick against W Connection as he congratulates teammate Ethan Robinson during the 2014 Toyota Classic.
(Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)

Upcoming Super League fixtures

Championship Division

(Tuesday August 25)

Prisons FC v Cunupia FC, YTC, Arouca, 4.15 pm;

QPCC FC v Saddle Hill Hotspur, Queen’s Park Oval, 6 pm;

Edinburgh 500 v Barrackpore Utd, Edinburgh 500 Rec ground, 7 pm;

Xtra Foods Chaguanas FC v Malabar FC, New Settlement Ground, Chaguanas, 7 pm;

Petit Valley Utd v UTT, Northern Rec Ground, Diego Martin, 8 pm.

Photo: The Guaya football club can generally count on the full support of its "Green Army" when it takes to the field. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: The Guaya football club can generally count on the full support of its “Green Army” when it takes to the field.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Premiership Division

(Sunday August 30)

Marabella Family Crisis Centre v Siparia Spurs, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, 4 pm;

FC Santa Rosa v Police FC, Marvin Lee Stadium, 4 pm;

Petrotrin Palo Seco v Guaya Utd, Palo Seco Velodrome, 5 pm;

1976 FC Phoenix v Real Maracas FC, Canaan Rec Ground, 5 pm;

NLCB La Horquetta SA v Club Sando Moruga, Larry Gomes Stadium, 4 pm;

Bethel Utd v WASA FC, Montgomery Rec Ground, 5 pm.

(Rescheduled)

Matura ReUnited v Stokely Vale FC

Defence Force FC on a bye.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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22 comments

  1. Arthlon… is there a soft copy of this POS Declaration? Never heard of but would like to study it [criteria, short/long term, investment etc]

  2. I want to agree with some of d comments put forward, to me however dats stale news. I sat on a committee that produce a document entitled The POS Declaration that is sitting on a shelve in d ttfa office unless Sancho dem took it when dey levied on ttfa. In d document we streamlined football in t&t, a maximum of 12 teams in Ttpro League, super league & an under 21 division but d ttfa never even put d document out for discussion.

  3. Yuh see…people waking up with ideas, they create a board, get a big sponsor, circulate the same players and jump up and do like they’ve done something down here. T&TEC, Ma Pau, Central FC are classic examples of what I refer to as “glory in nothingness”. Which is why we need something concrete, monitored, and continuous.

  4. I believe that is the model that will work Nicholas Lochan. Just our culture so shabby and small minded. Those 8/9 teams gonna have favouritism and obvious bias. So therein lies my only concern that it sort of puts a stranglehold on a new club to form and get in. But that’s nothing that cannot be rectified.

  5. IMO the 8/9 tent pole teams should be owned by the community [e.g shares] & maybe support other paid sports e.g volleyball, hockey, basketball… e.g Real Madrid, Barcelona

  6. Yes Kerwin… no problem with pro/dem at amateur levels but we need to set, build & enforce a std. for clubs at the top level, esp when its tax$ they operate on. Some Pro League clubs get $90,000 per month from SPORTT [last 3 years]…I’m not sure about any marked improvement

  7. I think the MLS model works especially well in a self sufficient environment where commercial sponsorship/TV revenues and match attendance are covering league and club costs.. any thoughts as to if this financial environment can be duplicated here..

  8. However, specifically to the Super League and their promo/demo system, we see smaller clubs actually having to function as a club. Then, the respect for sport increases in the communities, as well as opportunities within the communities. Players will be introduce to a pseudo professional nature before making the big jump to ProLeague or whatever the highest level of domestic football is.

  9. I agree with you to an extent on that 8/9 team format Nicholas Lochan, I say ideally 10 with 1 from Tobago. Our pool of quality players is too small to focus on competition and prize money etc. These 10 teams should be where the best players compete and the main focus is producing players for national duty.

  10. I like the article Nicholas Lochan

  11. Isn’t that like a sabbatical, not really promotion/demotion? ALL our football clubs are ‘ONE’ man shows run on sponsorship & tax$. We keep repeating the Joe Public, T&Tec, Petrotrin United, Ma Pau, South End, Starworld Strikers, Tobago United etc. IMO build the League to quality std. & later on implement pro/dem.

  12. Personally, I think every league must have promotion and relegation. It affects the integrity of the game. I spoke to a MLS reporter who agreed.
    He said every year or so, two or three clubs take a year off. By which I mean they don’t invest money and just show up and take their licks. I’ve seen it happen in the Pro League too.

  13. Kirwin & Lasana, I have to humbly disagree. Promotion/demotion works in a well supported & patronized league. IMO we should have 8/9 tent pole teams across T&T; fed by solid zonal & secondary schools leagues. MLS has avoided promotion/relegation & focused on building a brand of franchise football and it’s paying off!

  14. Okay cool. ProLeague criteria is a challenge if they are going to integrate it from the Super League. Is the ProLeague working their promo/demo. system separately ?

  15. And there could be promotion to the Pro League soon. That would be great.

  16. I think this structure of promotion/demotion augers well for the competition. Also, it forces clubs to come up to a certain standard. It means more “clubs” will have to start functioning as clubs.

  17. It was unveiled as a move from corporate Trinidad and Tobago. It wasn’t really, of course. But it is a good move all the same.
    The Pro League does have corporate sponsors though like Digicel and Toyota and First Citizens. And Republic Bank sponsors the Youth Cup.

  18. Where is private trinidad????