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Discussion: How the Pro League, SSFL and all in-between can help T&T football

The following post was created by Sherron Charles in Wired868’s Volley Facebook group and created a vibrant discussion:

Photo: The Defence Force  players take time out for a "selfie" against W Connection on 2 May 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: The Defence Force players take time out for a “selfie” against W Connection on 2 May 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The TT Pro League struggles commercially. Could someone please inform me why they see the need to invite more teams to ‘join the struggle?’ Is it because registration fees are their main source of income?

One would think that, in order to grow the league, they would put a cap on the number of participating teams and come up with a commercially viable structure.

And, when this is accomplished, THEN invite other teams, by way of promotion or invitation—a different argument for a different day—to join the league.

Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Hudson leaps into the air to celebrate his goal against Presentation College (San Fernando) in the South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Hudson leaps into the air to celebrate his goal against Presentation College (San Fernando) in the South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

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  1. ..IF the clubs have their own money but they don’t. And the way they operate they will never. And the players would then be part-time government employees. That is my point..

  2. ..If the TTPL and its clubs didn’t see this coming they’re blind. And it is overdue. Because they have a subsidy these clubs don’t even sell a ticket to enter a match. How many have a sponsor/partner? How many throw a fete to generate income? A boat ride? A raffle? A cake sale? Full time professional football in not viable in Trini. I’ve said it for years..

  3. The football arena is very duty
    There are those with ulterior motives
    So they highlighting 1 thing to make it fall so that they can ease in

  4. I have been reading most of the comments and everyone seem to know how to move forward. Yet, the decision makers are not participating or contributing or seem not to care. I believe there needs to be collaboration between the stakeholders of football. If you review all successful sports programmes, there is collaboration and support from the various levels of service providers. We are too small to be soooooo divisive.

  5. …Not to belabor the point but USA, with which we were literal equals in 1989, has moved along while we continue talking. THIS is how develop top football. Investment in CLUBS – not schools..

  6. The first thing the pro league needs is a business model that works for this region. Secondly they need to execute said business model. Their focus must be thoroughly on the consumer/fan/supporter. This means providing the proper environment for the game to thrive. I believe smaller stadiums (2500-5000+) built and owned by the teams will increase revenue greatly. These should NOT be built on community recreation grounds. Those should be left for the public’s use. The government needs to be included and land should be leased to teams to build. Each team should find a location that is prime for development in their community or surrounding environs on which to build these stadiums. These stadiums can be funded via a myriad of ways. Naming Rights, Concessions, Luxury boxes/suites, team owners, memberships. They also need to be equipped to assist the players and entice the patron. Team club or bar, restaurant, physical therapy, top grade locker rooms, team store etc. These stadiums in turn offer new revenue streams. Parties, other sports, advertising, tv rights, preseason tournaments, merchandising etc. The current stadiums are too big and very hard to fill plus not very conducive to an electrifying atmosphere week in week out. There is no intimacy between team and crowd. The communities of these respective teams have to be more involved and the onus is on the league and teams to ensure this is done. Players need to engage the public more off the field. I do not think the product is very poor, there is talent on show. It all goes hand in hand…better players mean a better output on the field but better facilities and training and coaching means better players. This is just a mosh of ideas i presented to the league in 2015. Lack of foresight and ego may be crippling them. Well, that and lack of execution. Once these things are put in place it would be easier to see if increasing teams in the league or promotion is viable.

  7. Lets take Point Fortin CC for instance, the were filling their stadium for the first 6 mths upon their arrival, their quality dropped considerably and the fan base dwindled to nothing

  8. Developing a quality product and filling stadia are two different goals. So if there’s divergence on the goals there’ll be divergence on the solutions.

  9. first time in years someone has accuse me of overthinking yes…

  10. Are the crowds larger at pro league matches than super league matches? Does anybody know?

  11. Been trying to say that all evening Lasana Liburd…

  12. Dennis Allen alyuh complicating something that is very simple, alyuh sounding like overthinkers, if we could qualify for the world cup every 4yrs and sell local players in every transfer window like Levi Garcia, then i can contently resign myself to the fact that football development has won

  13. Actually, the International Soca Monarch shows that you can get a crowd without quality yes. That probably isn’t the only example either. But I can’t say whether that is sustainable.
    There are many horrible football teams that get crowds too because of brand identity. But of course their crowds would increase with more success on the field.

  14. “create a marketing campaign”? to be paid for by whom? with what money for placement? the team owners paying for it? the GOTT? who? pass it on to the fans? how this being paid for

    • Thats my point, filling the stands without a quality product will cost quite a lot, but once u have quality on the field people will b rushing to see their team

    • costly pipe dreams buddy.
      bro…lemme break it down for u:
      a national full campaign of the scale you describe/envisage here would cost about $50,000-80,000 a week and would cost about another $100,000-500,000 for concept and execution.
      WITHOUT a TV partner…without a press partner…without an internet services partner…without a franchise rights owner to benefit from developing the branding and content…nobody could afford that.

  15. What we really talking about here, once u have a quality product the fans will be interested, lemme just flip this, so we create a marketing campaign and successfully fill the stadiums and then the supporters cannot see a quality product, and how long is that going to last exactly

  16. the reason the stands arent filled is not specifically because the standard of football is low. but barring a 100,000-word PhD discussion on why it’s not JUST that—let’s assume that we could do 5 things RIGHT NOW and fill the stands. what would those five things be?

  17. player development comes at a cost. who foots the bill? parents? as in the current state of things in T&T? same as in the US? Meanwhile in South America and the major cities in Europe the tok kids are coached at academies?
    The goalpost keeps shifting. the model in place in T&T now is about 20 years behind the global marketplace.

  18. Community clubs and their academies is the key or else we fail

  19. The only how that could work in that order is if we develop our players and stop talking nonsense about developing the various leagues

  20. Mr Dennis Allen, there is no way on the face of this earth that i could be wrong, DEVELOPMENT must come FIRST, DEVELOPMENT must come FIRST, when we create a proper development structure everything else will fall in place, better developed players will make better club teams and thus a better National team

  21. Me Cyrus, this is where we disagree. A quality product (in this case football), fills zero stadia. Fans with a connection to the team/players/club do. Acrington Stanley doesn’t get 3/4000 spectators because of their ‘high quality’. I get what you’re saying mind you…but having a quality product with disinterested fans to market it to reaps no reward.

  22. Mr Garcia, this is a very serious conversation, how could u enter this convo and talk about fulling stadiums, how are we going to full the stadiums if we dont have a quality product, the product on display is the players, we want to develop a higher quality player so that we can qualify for a World Cup every 4 yrs.
    Filling the stands will not develop the quality, u have to develop the quality first and then that will help fill the stands,

  23. both Dexter Cyrus and Carlon Garcia are wrong—and both are right.
    you are both looking at two different sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other.

  24. Dexter Cyrus you miss the point completely….this isn’t about developing football at grassroots or any level…it’s about filling the empty stadium seats. We could have the greatest academies and developmental programs…that isn’t sending the average spectator to the Ato Boldon Stadium to watch football.

    • But once you have a “crappy” product, nobody will come? Don’t you have to develop an attractive product first? And wouldn’t that be the point of cultivating excellence of skill and work ethic at the 13 year old level?
      One of the unattractive things about the pro league I think at the moment is that so few national team players are in it. So when you go to a pro league match, you aren’t seeing your kid’s football hero or even your favourite Trinidad and Tobago player. People like to see stars. That’s the reason for example that I think the LA Galaxy/Central match drew a bigger crowd than the Saprissa/W connection match for the Champions league even though the Saprissa/W Connection match was the better match. I think people thought they were going to see Gerard play. And even if they didn’t, they have greater familiarity with the Galaxy players than the Saprissa players.
      If the goal of football in this country is just to fill venues then we should embark on a strategy to have people like Henry and Gerard and Beckham complete their second retirement in the pro league after they’re done with the MLS. People will come out to see those guys regardless of their age and declining ability…

    • Actually Chabeth Haynes that was a discussion that was had very very recently…re: offering retiring big name players some money to play here for half the TTPL season. Unfortunately our playing fields were one of the major stumbling blocks. Nevertheless you perhaps accidentally proved my point…the TTPL offers nothing that fans identify with. W Connection could have the most attractive and high quality game but they still won’t fill the seats. One of the first laws of marketing is to appeal to your target’s emotions…the TTPL doesn’t do that in any way. It may sound basic and unfortunate, but knowing that next week you’re gonna be playing to a full stadium will make the players at least try to perform better and the by-product will be an improved quality of football

    • Hmm… Idk. Players start performing better and they start taking up foreign contracts wherever they get them. That’s why one of the things the pro league does not offer is the ability for fans to identify with players.
      Ask the average trini to name five pro league players and they can’t. Five national team players and maybe. So again… The “big” players leave the pro league and play elsewhere… You’re back at square one in terms of fan attendance. So if fan attendance is the ultimate goal of football, I can’t imagine we’ll ever succeed at achieving that.
      (And the fact that so few pro league players are on the national team gives the impression that the pro league is poor quality btw… Just saying.)

  25. Carlon Garcia you are totally clueless if u can say something that senseless, if we develop from grassroot club level, wont we have better teenage players and thus a higher level SSFL

  26. Everything is a comparison…smh. THAT is where the problem lies…not with sentimental attachments. TT simply cannot compete with nor compare itself against countries like the USA where the thinking toward sport is completely different. Lest the point is missed here…SSFL is not to be a substitute for youth or football development..it can be a vehicle through which the stadia can be filled for pro league games. But keep the comparisons coming….it’s gotten our stadia filled thus far right….

  27. too many people protecting empires

  28. they still haven’t brought us over, even though all clubs (bar one) voted to bring us on board

  29. ..LOL. And THAT is precisely why we will never be more than an inconsistent challenger for a World Cup place, with a sickly domestic football. Keep pinning self-limiting hopes on schools football to do the work of clubs. Meantime, USA has rejected the reliance on schools foorball – high school and ” college” – as the foundation for its elite league – MLS. They now increasinglt take players straight out of their club academies, which ban high school players from representing their schools. OR they import foreigners. The EPL has!an under 20 league while we have an under 20 schools league. Sentimental attachment to schools football is no substitute for realism and, yes, best practice..

  30. Folks keep juxtaposing, either with good intention or ignorance, our football against best practice. We must face reality and make lemonade with the lemons we have at hand. The SSFL is by far the most followed sporting competition in TT. Use it…stop laying claim to what ‘serious footballing nations do’…we have proven ourselves time and again to be furthest from that

  31. let’s examine how teams in modern day football make money (and see which of these apply to the TTPro League:
    shirtfront sponsorship
    transfer fees
    stadium naming rights
    TV rights contracts
    merchandise sales
    Season Ticket sales
    Matchday ticket sales
    Franchise rights licensing deals
    Player endorsement deals
    Clothing, gear and apparel deals.
    Share ownership
    leveraged deals based on future earnings
    training day apparel deals

  32. I totally agree with Keith, if we want to create another Russell Latapy, Dwight Yorke, Clayton Morris, Dexter Francis, we have to empower community clubs that have academies, the kid gets development from a club that he can come through the ranks at the said club until he is good enough to be sold or contribute to the club’s senior team, by which time another kid is going through the same programme at the club to ensure development continuity, nothing else will work

  33. Dexter Cyrus I will definitely support collaborating with the Super League. I think we need a (I might get licks for this) TTFA led restructuring of the football pyramid. One which not only helps development but ensure that there’s integration between clubs and schools where all can benefit.

  34. …Listen. There is no rocket science involved here. The solutions to our football problems have existed for the proverbial donkey years. And they have come from the practitioners. The REAL problem is the political interests of the administrators at every level, and the sentimentality of the fans like some on this page. NO serious football country will place schools football at the centre of its development programme. That level may play a small part but the hotbed of national development MUST be the clubs. Therefore, CLUB development MUST be at the heart of any development. ANY OTHER APPROACH is pure waste..

  35. Wanna bet that raises the standard of football in those 2 age groups

  36. Any player under contract with a Pro League club becomes ineligible

  37. Any club from Trinidad and Tobago can compete

  38. We need a national U17 and U23 league

  39. Because we all seem to want everything to become better at SSFL level, and at Youth Pro league level, by which time we have already lost soooooooo many kids through the woodwork, we need to tap into whatever we want to come up with as a solution for Trinidad and Tobago from the internationally recognised development age, thats at the age of 5

  40. Well that might be a starting point? Having a tournament that includes all youth teams?
    I’m not a fan of the pro league teams aligning with schools idea.
    1. I am finding these pro league teams seem to have predatory tendencies and therefore I wouldn’t support a school advocating for its players to join any particular pro league team. In any case, aren’t there only 10 pro league teams? Are there more schools than that? And what happens if the pro league expands? You shift a school from one pro league team to the new pro league team?
    And 2. Just logistically… A kid may go to school in POS but live in Sangre Grande, so it just might be easier to join a club team in Grande than force the kid to play with a pro league team in POS.

  41. So Mr Charles, seeing as the Super league clubs are already integrated into the communities, why shouldnt any collaboration include them

  42. Chabeth Haynes no. Only the pro league teams field youth pro league teams, I am not sure what’s the reason behind a decision like that

  43. ..I beg everyone’s pardon for being “one of Eric Williams’ small thinkers”. Good luck with the schools’project and improving the sickly TTPL. Pie in the sky abound..

  44. Meaning the youth arms of pro league clubs? So a club like Santa Rosa that isn’t in the pro league doesn’t participate in that tournament?

  45. Is there a club tournament for kids of SSFL age?

  46. My thoughts on the above suggestions:

    On points 1, 2 and 7 I think a relationship needs to be formed between the Pro League teams, SSFL teams and communities. Each has something to offer the other. The problem would be to get the hierarchies in each to put egos aside to determine the best way forward. I foresee a problem with the SSFL as they may not see themselves as equal to the TT Pro League especially with their Digicel deal. Within the communities, there may be a struggle when it comes to recreational use of the grounds but the prospect of heightened economic activity can use to convince residents.

    On point 3. Definitely better marketing needs to be done but I’m sure the TT Pro League can’t afford to due to financial constraints which may not exist if they are able to take the games to communities this widening their reach. Scheduling of games I think is a bit out of their hands because they can only use the stadia when they are available. This can also be fixed if teams existed within their own communities and had their own facilities.

    On point 4 this would be a tough sell mainly due to the fact that the television stations would have to also produce the broadcast unless the Pro League can secure sponsorship of their services from a production company. A production company with high quality equipment would also be needed for this to ensure the on screen product is of the best quality and if not as good as what the sports viewer is accustomed to it must be close.

    Finally on Point 6, I don’t agree with this. Clubs won’t allow anyone to tell them to change their names!

  47. You need to add hiring qualified persons (I suggest with management qualifications) to make decisions or sending current employees to get qualified

  48. When I initially posted this article I was expecting solutions on how we could make the TT Pro League a more commercially viable product however the discussion has gone off on various tangents which are relevant for the overall development of local football but not so for the intended discussion. Nevertheless, some worthy ideas have come out of the discussion and they are as followed.

    1) Bringing in a Tobago team and inviting another ‘proper’ community club. Also, a critical analysis of the failings of Point Fortin Civic Centre, a proper community club.

    2) Bringing the game to the masses by way of upgrading community fields thus better connecting with the fans and creating various revenue streams.

    3) Better marketing and scheduling of games.

    4) A TV deal between the Pro League and a local TV station. Also, streaming of the games to get to the Trinidad diaspora overseas.

    5) The incorporating of school teams into the Pro League. I assume because of their popularity via alumni and the ready made community which exists within.

    6) Changing the names of the Pro League teams to the names of school teams.

    7) Developing a relationship between Pro League and SSFL teams so the former can benefit from the latter’s following.

    Being a coach I am all for development but I believe the solution for creating a better TT Pro League lies in some of the above suggestions and others similar to it. Going forward let’s comment on the suggestions previously mentioned and/or put forward some of our own.

  49. Dexter Cyrus i agree with u wholeheartedly!! on ur community academy point i have coached players and when they make it big and are asked what was their first team they say Sky, defence force , jaboleth etc when i ask them how u aint call we academy they say that is not a real club so i know and feel ur pain!!

  50. Real Madrid partnering with a school in Trinidad doesnt do anything for football development in the entire country, we have to understand that football development doesnt start in schools, but i like the primary school idea Mr Pierre, it definitely can be a contributory factor, mainly bcuz that is the age that development has to start from

  51. Argumentative conversation is healthy in disagreeing to agree

  52. The situation with the parents is of course, the belief that something wrong with yuh child if yuh dont pass English and Maths.
    The same educational structure from whence we were colonised still stands today, and kids fall through the cracks in the woodwork bcuz of it, but thats a whole different can ah worms bredda

  53. What we have to tap into, is helping these community clubs and academies to keep creating and developing quality players, and not just keep hoping that quality will just fall through the woodwork, we need structures that will create top class quality from an earlier age

  54. we now getting somewhere dexter! So my point is if we go into d schools primary that is we could identify players, develop them and at d same time form a life long bond for d clubs that is just my point bc up to today some parents will not easily send their children to community academies but will send them to represent their school

  55. Development doesnt start at the teams u mentioned Mr Pierre, by the time they are chosen by these clubs they would have already been developed to a certain point, or else they would not be considered good enough to be chosen by any club or school

  56. Mr Pierre, everything u just said is true, but that was my point to begin with.
    In your last comment u made mention of Pro league, SSFL, Youth Pro League, all these competitions can only function with players that are already DEVELOPED.
    The Youth Pro league U13 facilitates for kids from as early as 11yrs, in the few instances maybe a big 10yr old, this is the highest level of football in the country in that age group, the pro league clubs SCREEN, and then choose the best kids they find suitable to represent their team, have u ever wondered where are they getting these talented kids from.
    From a community club’s academy, where a coach would have already developed them for the past 5 to 7 yrs, so when they turn 11 or 12 they already have a base of technical skill, football awareness and their physical gate is already open

  57. SSFL gets the crowds…TTPL doesn’t….doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that a relationship has to be developed between the two to get butts in stadium seats. Instead we want to ‘develop football’ and ‘develop clubs’. Local spectators don’t place much emphasis on quality football…they want something to identify with. The TTPL clubs simply do not provide the sense of community that schools provide. Fill the stadia first and the by product will be improved football and clubs

  58. I will leave u all with this one that Real Madrid have partnered with schools in trinidad to provide coaching??? Think about that
    footballing demigods!!!!

  59. And keith i am not involved in
    any of the above

  60. That is y Eric williams children always have to beg bread !!! Small picture thinkers bc i did not even talk about intercol school but schools in general both primary and secondary but small competition already blowing our mind

  61. ..Dexter, you and I, who are involved in Super League, community and schools football clearly don’t understand things..

  62. it is more about football development than football in d said school bc as we speak more than half d pro league teams have no youth teams so where is d so called development?? Unpaid coaches while SSFL coaches are paid better than many proleague senor coaches and some youth proleague teams c their players for d first time a week before their first game development sir

  63. If that is not the case Mr Pierre, i stand corrected

  64. Why else would we be making a case for a PROFESSIONAL football team to adopt a school, if not to develop the standard of football in the said school

  65. Mr Gordon Pierre, if a Pro League team adopts a school, is it not to develop football in the said school

  66. the thread is about ways to kick start d proleague!! where d standard of play is low crowd attendance zero player development low coaching development low and brand strength zero

  67. After over 15 years more than half of the pro league clubs have to pick up teams to play youth proleague stop playing orstrich

  68. Dexter Cyrus who spoke about developing school football? read d comments again!!! We are talking about developing d proleague by pro teams adopting schools! This well help with earlier identification of talent and proper development at an earlier age!! Adopting a school will also allow d pro club to feed off d misplaced school football obession

  69. ..Thanks Dexter. Hopefully you did a better job than I din in making the point..

  70. Seriously guys, we dont find that to be a bit 2 left footed

  71. There is no way u can by pass the clubs and try to develop the school football and its the club thats developing the players that stand out in the said school football

  72. Develop clubs and we automatically develop everything else

  73. Gentlemen, we need to understand the order of how development works, the players of quality that u find in school football, have been developed by a CLUB, school football, cannot and will never be able to develop a player so that he can be world class in his teens.
    We need to take our eyes off the finished product and understand DEVELOPMENT, a player of quality attending a junior secondary, he is then approached by a prestige school like St Benedicts to come to their school to play for them, did the junior Sec develop that player, NO, a club did, and that goes for ALL school players, without clubs the level of football in the schools would be considerably lower.
    Community clubs are by FAR the best way to DEVELOP football in Trinidad and Tobago,

  74. ..The vast majority of clubs in this country are non-TTPL. Second, the clubs will just agree to giblve up their identity, right? Allyuh and allyuh school football obsession..LOL..

  75. Lol. Step too far there Carlon.

  76. How about this for a suggestion…forget the names W Connection, Central FC, Caledonia etc…rename all the pro league teams as school names…gustine vs naparima as opposed to northeast stars vs club sando…pretty sure crowds will slowly return…alumni first

  77. What I think I am hearing is that we have to find a way to involve the schools. No problem with concept, however, we also have to keep in mind the schools league as currently constituted lasts for a three month term from September to November. The Pro League season lasts about a month longer, from March to June. Both systems have pros and cons but unless we find a way to keep national team rotations for different youth age groups training and playing practice matches together, I am not sure linking the ssfl to pro league will make a significant difference when we play international competitions. Seems like we pick youth national teams a a few months ahead of tournaments only, which puts too much pressure on coaches to build a cohesive and successful unit. Just wanted to throw that out there.

  78. And only Eric William children can not unity for a common vision where there is no vision d ppl perish!! did an interveiw with Mr Lequay he spoke of d same thing y Maple, Malvern and d like do not have even a club house

  79. Jamaal Shabazz i agreed but ur comment proves my point y d schools can not b disregarded u still check to c how gustine doing. And note i said the clubs must beg steal or borrow to get grounds but they must adopt the schools both secondary and primary

  80. I agree with Keith.
    Plus It comes down to how the schools have become a community not just from a geograhic stand point but from an alumni perspective as well. Even when I am away during secondary schools league I want to see how Gustine do.
    If clubs can get to develop facilities within the communities then it sets a platform for economic independence. We have seen cultures changed because of influences that has been allowed and followed. When we were young our activity was sport and culture. This violent gang culture did not come from us it came from USA hip hop , east coast west coast crap. That culture was allowed to flourish here.

    Therefore we can start to redevelop that community club culture, acquire the facilities and engage the corporate sector with a bill board to sell or a stand or box to name in exchange for income.
    All free men have land and something to protect it. How Queens Park get them own and all those cricket teams in Central Trinidad. Like is only Eric Williams children have no proper facilities in their communities.

  81. Some players who get the chance to go to Naparima or QRC would never have done so but for football. Back in the days, some players who failed common entrance got into high school because of football. So I was looking at in that light.
    Personally, I think national players over 16 should be asked not to play school football. But we just haven’t anything better to offer them at club level yet.
    So while the TTFA is fixing that, I am happy if SSFL can pour some of that SportsMax money into improving its competitions with coaching education, better facilities, equipment and so on.

  82. ..Garcia was a product of Palo Seco. Not Shiva. Rochford is a product of Rosa. Not QRC. Develop the clubs..

  83. ..We will NEVER get to that if the effort is not made to develop clubs. And you are referring to boots man. Btw, education is not a by-product of playing football for a school. Muckette just signed a contract in Portugal and he played ONE intercol. He learned his football in FC Santa Rosa. But QRC is ALWAYS mentioned as his nursery..LOL..

  84. Through schools right now, a young player can get an improved education, boots, a qualified coach, sometimes assistance for meals and travel and possibly a scholarship.
    What can most clubs offer to counter that? I agree with Gordon.
    Keith is talking about best practice. But I think the reality is that we aren’t close to that yet.

  85. Schools have more to offer than clubs at the moment. Facilities, budget, etc… It will take our clubs a while before they can take over that job to me.
    Perhaps a few can do it. But I think most can’t.
    Sure, the goal is to get the clubs ready for the responsibility. But in the meantime we just have to use the schools.

  86. we have to agree to disagree!! bc i agree with u again but the reality is school football is very important bc of the culture so instead of fighting it we should use it to develop the game!! How many players go against national coaches and return to d school game yearly?? An more than that using the schools especially primary school will expose more children if it was not for school i would have played no sports bc my father was not joining me in no club to learn any so for sports to prosper in trinidad the schools must remain the doorway!

  87. ..That contract has to do with reaching markets. Nothing else. We should be talking about clib development not incorporating schools in the development of top football. Yes this is Trini and depending on schools to develop top football will not allow us to compete..

  88. keith again i agreed with u but this is tt thats y Nakhid solution and mine is on the same wavelength we have to find way to get them to work together!! And what struck me parents against children joining clubs allow them to represent school!!! That is very very real still in trinidad when shaka hislop say his most memorable football was in school it speaks to d importance of school football in this part of the world! SSFL
    has a tv contract with sportsmax while the proleague has none and the proleague is sponsored by digicel who is d owner of sportsmax

  89. ..I disagree entirely. Schools football is played all of three months. With players always dropping out for lessons. For disciplinary reasons. Always leaving. Cmon man. How could that possibly be the foundation for PROFESSIONAL football? Cmon..

  90. What about Nakhid’s idea to incorporate SSFL to the club system?
    Excerpt: “Nakhid, a former Grasshoppers (Switzerland) and New England Revolution (MLS) playmaker, also proposed a new paradigm for the development of players in the Caribbean that seeks smooth relations between schools and professional clubs.

    He believes the Caribbean must have a professional league and said the CFU might be the last region in global football to be without a properly organised competition. However, he thinks schools can and should remain the bedrock of player development.

    “The Caribbean is very much school-based and community-based (and) we are very distinct in that way from Europe where things revolve around clubs,” said Nakhid. “I can tell you what a small European nation did that we can learn from.

    “In the 1990s, Belgium introduced a template in which incentives were given to primary schools and secondary schools, where, if they produced players for the national level, they got funding for school grounds and so on… I know because I played there.

    “Some parents oppose sending their children to clubs but they allow them to represent their schools. This template forces schools to invest in better coaching and create more curriculum time for football because it pays off in real economic terms.”

  91. Agreed Keith but this is trinidad and if u want to get a following u need to use the school boys return to play returning to play school football shows d problem!! An bc sport is still play in tt to increase d pool we need to go into d school especially primary schools

  92. ..School teams? What for? All the school players belong to a club at some level. And in fact are produced by these clubs then used by the schools, which go on as if the players were born in the schools and which are given credit and fame for producing them by the silly media. You think Barcelona depends on or even thinks about some school near the Camp Nou?..

  93. The proleague needs firstly to sign a five year tv deal with a local tv station that involves profit sharing!! They must hit d internet to capture the overseas disapora, the clubs must steal beg or borrow to get community fields, the incooperating of school teams into d proleague is also important, coaching development and marketing is also key

  94. ..The Jamaican premier league is not even all that good but Jamaican people love live football. They attend matches. Also the premier league is marketed. The TTPL is a marketing joke. During the recent Toyota Cup there was hardly any visible Toyota branding. Tv will broadcast live local football if a market is promoted and is there to be reached. TTPL only talks that. You can’t be serious if you schedule Caledonia v Northeast Stars on a Tuesday night in Couva..

  95. Coach education, independence from present govt funding and all the great points cannot be without consideration of improving facilities within communities like Morvant, Bourg Malatresse, Sangre Grandre etc. I am not even saying govt do it. Once we get the permission we will find the money to upgrade these facilities. Only if we get mini stadia in the communities and crowd attendance is low and football of the field remains low standard…then and only then could I join the congo line. For now I say give us the broken down run down facilities we will fix it.

  96. One of the big issues needed to be addressed in the Pro League is revenue earning fields within the communities. Good revenue earning surfaces within the communities can shape a closer interaction between Pro and Super Leagues. The two entities should discuss a pathway forward towards the survival of both .

  97. I think the Pro League needs a solid Tobago team and can do with another proper community club. Like Guaya maybe.
    But it doesn’t seem that any Tobago team has a significant following. And we need to work out why Point Fortin Civic, as a proper community club, has done so badly in every way in the Pro League.
    What will get the people on this thread to go out and watch Pro League football?
    That’s a starting point.

  98. I think the Pro League considers applications every year. So it isn’t necessarily that they are making a special effort for fresh blood.
    They might just be trying to do the screening sooner.

  99. Lol! we’ve had this convo so many times here..Chabeth Haynes

  100. There are many ways to get to an improved, more viable league and football product. Not knocking the TT Pro League chosen path, especially in this economic climate, but would like to hear what the Pro League officially thinks about improving standards overall (coaching, playing fields, etc), as well as, about working with Super League to establish prticipation via a promotion / demotion system. A few other issues: Is there a limit on foreign player participation? Should there be one, as with other professional leagues globally? Should there be a player salary cap, and/or a salary floor? Just some of my thoughts…

  101. This is the result when you have so many unqualified persons making major decisions in sport in T&T. Real talk

  102. ..Steups. An understanding of the concept of “less is more” evades many people. They are probably looking for more clubs to compensate for the government funding they will probably lose. New teams jumping in mere months – even weeks – before they begin to play. Now THAT’s professional..