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Pro League’s toughest fight: doubts over champs Central FC and N/East Stars

Trinidad and Tobago Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene admitted that the local top flight competition is facing the toughest fight of its 14 year existence, as uncertainty over government funding and the poor economic climate are among several factors overshadowing the 2016/17 season.

Photo: Central FC attacker Kadeem Corbin (left) and St Ann's Rangers defender Shaquille Moses (right) tussle for the ball while Central midfielder Sean De Silva looks on during TT Pro League action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Kadeem Corbin (left) and St Ann’s Rangers defender Shaquille Moses (right) tussle for the ball while Central midfielder Sean De Silva looks on during TT Pro League action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Defending champions Central FC, who won successive Pro League and Caribbean Cup titles over the past two seasons, are looking increasingly vulnerable after losing two title sponsors—SIS and Bankers Insurance—in the past year.

Skeene admitted that Central were in financial dire straits and had even broached the idea of participating in the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League while taking a hiatus from the Pro League.

The Champions League raised its allowance to participating clubs from US$40,000 (TT$265,500) to US$75,000 (TT$498,000) per away game, which means the “Couva Sharks” would collect US$150,000 (TT$996,000) for their trips to Honduras and Mexico in the tournament’s group stage.

It is unlikely that CONCACAF would allow Central to participate in its showcase club tournament under those circumstances, even if the Pro League board did.

But Skeene insisted that Central, like the Pro League’s nine other clubs, were expected back next season.

Photo: The "Central Choir", accompanied by Central FC operations manager Kevin Harrison (centre), look on from the sidelines at the Mahaica Oval in 2015 Pro League action. Harrison served as Sport Minister Brent Sancho's advisor, last year, and is a former voluntary worker with the UK's Professional Footballers' Association (PFA). (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: The “Central Choir”, accompanied by Central FC operations manager Kevin Harrison (centre), look on from the sidelines at the Mahaica Oval in 2015 Pro League action.
Harrison served as Sport Minister Brent Sancho’s advisor, last year, and is a former voluntary worker with the UK’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“We had a board meeting [last week] and all the clubs were discussing the new season,” Skeene told Wired868. “The general consensus is that things are tight. With the subvention cut, the clubs are talking about rearranging for new season.

“Central said there are challenges but they didn’t say they are out. Everybody is talking to sponsors and reviewing their processes.”

Central might have as many internal issues as they do external ones.

Skeene confirmed that the Sharks, who are led by former Sport Minister Brent Sancho and Kevin Harrison, received TT$600,000 in prize money in April for their successful 2014/15 title run. The Pro League is due to make an additional TT$260,000 payment to Central soon.

However, Wired868’s checks revealed that they are yet to pay bonuses to players and staff.

The Pro League CEO said the club’s former captain, Marvin Oliver, will be paid since he lodged a complaint directly with the governing body. The remaining Central players and staff members are believed to be negotiating directly with the club.

Photo: Comunicaciones midfielder Jorge Aparacio (left) grapples with Central FC star Marvin Oliver during 2015 CONCACAF Champions League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Comunicaciones midfielder Jorge Aparacio (left) grapples with Central FC star Marvin Oliver during 2015 CONCACAF Champions League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Sancho and Harrison also face a Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) investigation for four matters related to alleged corruption and/or financial mismanagement at the Sharks.

However, current TTFA president David John-Williams, who is also the owner of Pro League club, W Connection, has not addressed the Central matter since his election on 29 November 2015.

Ironically, John-Williams has faced complaints about his own behaviour as a club owner. He was involved in a two month stand off between Connection and its young forward Dwight Quintero before the club belatedly agreed to pay for its employee’s emergency operation in April.

Central are not the only Pro League entity who are struggling financially though, after the Ministry of Sport cut its subvention to clubs from TT$80,000 per month to TT$50,000.

The Pro League clubs are uncertain about even the reduced subvention for next term and there were suggestions that the board might delay the start of the 2016/17 Pro League season until after the October budget to be sure of government aid. The season is otherwise expected to commence in early September.

Photo: Former Caledonia AIA head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) helps defender Kareem Joseph to his feet while assistant coach Rajeesh Latchoo looks on during CONCACAF Champions League action in 2013. (Courtesy Francisco Estrada/Jam MEDIA)
Photo: Former Caledonia AIA head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) helps defender Kareem Joseph to his feet while assistant coach Rajeesh Latchoo looks on during CONCACAF Champions League action in 2013.
(Courtesy Francisco Estrada/Jam MEDIA)

However, Morvant Caledonia United co-founder Jamaal Shabazz believes rumours that the government might scrap its subvention altogether are probably a case of scaremongering.

“A member of Central FC first alerted [the board] to that concern about the subvention,” said Shabazz. “I, for one, am not unduly worried. No such communication has come from the Ministry or Sports Company.”

Skeene and Shabazz both raised several ideas for revitalising the Pro League and boosting the financial health of its stakeholders. Not for the first time, community grounds were a key talking point.

Skeene hinted that the short-term future of Japs North East Stars, who were Pro League champions in 2004, might rely on their ability to source a ground.

The Sangre Grande-based club were forced to play their home games as far away as Couva last season since the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar does not have functioning lights, and cannot facilitate kick offs later than 4 pm.

Photo: Central FC captain Leston Paul (background) tries to steal the ball from North East Stars midfielder Anthony Guppy during Pro League action at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 8 May 2016. Central won 4-0 to retain the Pro League title. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC captain Leston Paul (background) tries to steal the ball from North East Stars midfielder Anthony Guppy during Pro League action at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 8 May 2016.
Central won 4-0 to retain the Pro League title.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Ironically, Jabloteh’s decision to move their home games to the Barataria Recreation Ground last season, which was greeted by an immediate spike in supporters, was scuttled after a few games as at least one team refused to play there.

“There was a concern about the security [at the Barataria Recreation Ground] by one of the clubs,” said Skeene, “so I will look at it on a case by case basis. But I will push [for community grounds] as much as possible.

“Some clubs are willing to do it and others don’t and prefer to play in the stadiums.”

Morvant Caledonia definitely fall into the latter category and Shabazz insisted that local teams would not need financial aid if the government keeps its promise to deliver community grounds.

Skeene said the Pro League will survive.

“[The financial climate] has now forced all of us to relook at the model and work towards playing in the communities, even if it means playing in less than ideal conditions” said the Pro League CEO. “I am looking at community development programmes and we also want to work more with [influential] people inside communities.

Photo: Fans look on from the sidelines during TT Pro League action between Defence Force and San Juan Jabloteh on 12 March 2016 at the Barataria Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Fans look on from the sidelines during TT Pro League action between Defence Force and San Juan Jabloteh on 12 March 2016 at the Barataria Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

“In challenging times, it pushes you to focus and [to] do what is needed to operate in the way you have to to be sustainable in the long term; and not just focus on playing games and relying on the subvention.”

The local professional game started in 1999 as the Professional Football League (PFL) but was left for dead, three years later, when then FIFA vice-president and TTFF special advisor Jack Warner withdrew financial support for the competition.

Within three months of the PFL’s collapse in 2002, eight clubs started the Pro League which now has 14 years under its belt.

“For two years, we played without prize money just to ensure that the concept of professional football continued,” said Shabazz. “And the teams like Jabloteh, W Connection, Caledonia and Defence Force are the survivors of [the group that made] that decision.

“I think the Pro League’s survival is a tremendous achievement and those who want to see a return to amateur football, in my view, are taking the easy way out.”

Photo: W Connection attacker Jomal Williams (right) dances around Deportivo Saprissa defender Andres Imperiale during 2015 CONCACAF Champions League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker Jomal Williams (right) dances around Deportivo Saprissa defender Andres Imperiale during 2015 CONCACAF Champions League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart said in a previous interview that it would be disastrous for the Soca Warriors if the Pro League folds. Shabazz and Skeene agreed.

“The Pro League provides coaches, administrators and players with the opportunity to focus full time and affords them more time to develop their skills,” said Shabazz. “It is going to be very difficult for coach Stephen Hart to depend on players who are doing a regular job and have to get time off from their employers. We cannot go back to that way when all we need is a little more ambition, more critical thinking and execution of a pathway forward.

“Caledonia is by no means among the haves; but we refuse to just roll over and play dead.”

Skeene suggested that the Pro League may hold a symposium to hear ideas on the way forward from interested parties outside of the football family.

Photo: Central FC star Ataulla Guerra (centre) takes the 2014/15 Pro League trophy from Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC star Ataulla Guerra (centre) takes the 2014/15 Pro League trophy from Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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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215 comments

  1. Buh wah trouble is this eh, which means that we will also have to bless up the MVP then if it is going to be another player ent.?

  2. They ain’t name them yet have a points system they use guess on prize giving night we will know

  3. By the way who was the MVP of our pro league, was it also the top goalscorer Makesi Lewis (Police) or is it another player Gordon Pierre and Lasana Liburd ?

  4. And in the upcoming season eh, we going all out eh $10, 000 , the boots of their choice and a plaque for the top goalscorer eh, but they must score 30 goals and no more $5, 000 if they don’t eh, they will only receive the boots of their choice and the plaque eh and we are giving them this challenge because we know that our prolific goalscorers can really do better eh, so the ball is in their court alyuh hear meh my prolific goalscorers and winners Devon Jorsling and Makesi Lewis. Them really good yes.

  5. hahahaha yuh know the Pierre families are very special set of people eh and together we will help them in our sweet country eventually get the football thing right eh. Them really good yes.

  6. Hahaha uncle Earl Mango Pierre u does crack me up yes!! Them good yes!

  7. Gordon Pierre I eh dun with you as yet eh, please don’t compare indoor facilities with out door facilities eh, and the urgent need for the community fields for our pro teams is also for them to eventually have their own youth teams eh, how many pro teams have their own youth teams eh, the police and army borrowing other people youth teams among a few others so how will they ever generate their own funds if they are not developing and selling their own youth players to the real professional teams abroad eh, so the urgency is needed in a very quick timing and also for me and my people to also rent these fields in the communities to have our gospel shows and prayer gatherings to continue to safe the youths and our sweet country eh, and yeah yuh could call me Pastor Mango and I will continue to be involved in the both the football and also serving my father God eh.

  8. Kevin Harrison i hear u but we have d woodbrook tarcargua mayaro Pleasantville indoor facilities and none are self sufficient just examples of how facilities in themselves are not solutions! And me and u might fall out bc u and ur boi was the ones who fight down Terence William Fenwick when he attempted to get the Morvant ground upgraded with private money at that! I forgive u all bc i know how power is but i aint forget!! And at d end of d day we all have to work together to drive things forward!

    • Question: who manages those facilities? They are not run as profit generating entities. In fact, any money that is collected cannot be reinvested, it has to go straight to the treasury. These need to be handed over as public- private partnerships. In these cases any funds generated would be used to maintain them correctly. But the grounds I spoke of would be leased to clubs so that they could generate profits. It would then depend on the clubs business acumen. Regarding the other issue, sadly you are mistaken about several facts that you mentioned, but I am unable to expand on that at this time.

    • Ok Kevin Harrison one the facilities side just mention them to show that facilities alone are not d solution bc although d money may go to d treasury they don’t generate any substantial income! On the other issue would love one day to hear about ur side of things but as Jack would say yesterday is yesterday and today is today let’s hope now that things are not so rosy u and ur boi will stay in the league and bring ur skills towards turning things around and pushing things forward

  9. Gordon Pierre just go into MSYA and you will see plans for a 3,000 stadium with solar powered lighting, rainwater collection system and designated spaces for Rituals, KFC/Japs, plus other outlets. Rented office spaces, conference/ function rooms for community meetings, weddings etc. walking track, parking lot that converts to basketball court etc. Cabinet notes approved for construction in Ojoe Rd & Bourg. North East and Jabloteh were to manage these facilities and derive income while at least 60% of field usage was guaranteed to community use. The best thing is that this design would not belong to an architect but to govt so it can be sold to other countries.

  10. Brian Jordan bc of the state of the proleague we have to pick ur battles and change what we can control first!! The ground issue will take plenty energy and resources which can b better used at this time! That is y proleague clubs need proper business plans bc this grounds issue would have been weight and prioritize according to returns bc up to now no one here could tell me how the community ground will generate great income to save a pro team! Note i for community grounds eh! Just do not have it as d end all and be all! There are a number of things that must be fixed first

  11. Can Or Should all battles only be fought one at a time Gordon Pierre?? Can some not be fought on several fronts? Just checking..

  12. Time for Jamaal to come back from Guayana and take control of youth development, with all due respect Isa Mohammed not the right fit for that position. Get up and go, networking, sharing information, knowing your players and staff capabilities strength and weaknesses. The technical director has to be DYNAMIC, not dull, boring and clueless.
    Come Jamaal, sure your mate will facilitate.

  13. Oh those days of SFA and SFL but then between Caroni and the Oil companies fields were properly taken care of …not overburden and roll like now

  14. Chandani Boodoo, uncle Earl Mango Pierre i agreeing with Jamaal Shabazz about the need for fields u know just saying it’s the wrong battle for right now! Digicel play now starting in communities right? No proleague team ain’t c it fit to approach digicel to say we could get i will say fifty consumers to start up on digicel play or is it we can’t get our communities activated! If we had vibrant youth programs in communities we could have easily done this!! Just an example of how innovative thinking could move us forward!! This field battle as d corner stone of progress is d wrong approach but it’s one that takes the responsibility away from the clubs and put it on someone else the normal Eric William children mode of operation! Bc i supported Terry drive for the community ground

  15. Look at the kind of ballers that communities like Diego Martin, Petit Valley, Maraval, Carenage, Morvant/ Laventille, and San Juan developed from even way back in meh playing days and before eh and some of these areas doesn’t have their own proper playing fields or their own professional teams eh, the players always have to leave their communities and play for other professional teams or my police or army team eh well except for Morvant Caledonia and San Juan Jabolteh but they need a proper playing field and seating area for their professional team in their community and it will be a done deal. Them really good yes.

  16. An this is one of the major sale with your product example japs in grandie an you get 2500.00 croud in grandie an japs has deals in place to get most of that fan base to buy an you have bussiness involved who also can benefit from a good croud .

  17. Sponsors now have an opportunity to market to a specific target too

  18. Gordon Pierre my nephew the fields in the community isn’t only about collecting a fee to see the games eh, it is about allowing the grany, grand pa, the goat, the cow, the chicken, and all other supporters to come and support their community heroes when games are being played and the number one reason as I am always saying it is for the players and our coaches standards to raise to another level the other monies will be made from doing other things like developing and selling players to real professional clubs abroad and this is where plenty of the monies will also come from, team jerseys, and other kinds of marketing and I am positively certain that all communities have folks with those skills especially our younger folks eh, I mean to say the league is over 12 yrs old eh, and nothing is really being done to get the community to come out and support their teams in the stadiums that was only built for one reason eh, look at the conditions of some of the stadiums eh, and what make you feel that this will ever change eh, our sweet country isn’t a real football country eh, like my Spanish and Central America countries eh, where the whole family and supporters are always at the football games in their sweet country eh, and I as meh friend Nigel Myers said unless we have a culture shift nothing won’t be changing and yuh dun know that our culture is about partying, boatrides,drinking plenty rum, running down plenty women, and having a great time.Them really good yes.

  19. Instead of looking at the stadia or playing fields as income generators on any particular scale, we need to focus and think of the non-pecuniary benefits involved with community based grounds. Are they going to keep a team in the community, keep a team from leaving, providing entertainment and opportunities to foster youth growth and development, or just fostering greater sporting opportunities and competition!

    Worldwide it has been recognized that sports are central to cultural life and development. They represent one of the most cogent ways for residents to feel part of and enjoy belonging to a community. We live in a technologically advanced world and smartphones, social media consume much of our time daily. We need an opportunity to identify with others at the community level, face to face interaction etc. Sport teams help provide identity to a community, and it is this psychosocial benefit that should be weighed against costs and petty squabbles.

  20. You not seeing once we keep jumping from here to there all our time is consumed and we have no main focus for a solution. If Terry Fenwick’s initiative with the ground was successful ( and I supported it ) then we could tackle another issue(s) like I know some people beef is the marketing. I not going there until I get a field. Lets teams come Morvant and meet me in the alley.

  21. I am one individual not concern about job or my future in coaching i am a dam good coach with good coachong education what is my main concern is saving football an the future of north east stars wich will chat help keep the youths off the streets foitball at north east has been providing employment for us over 14 years now . And my main concern are the talented youngsters who all they have is there football that provides for them an there family in an already fragile society broken down with crime .football provides a way of life for them i am diserpointed in the public view an the p n m government under prime minister keith Rowley who cannot see and see the importance of the subversion an seeing it as taxpayers money .this calls for a holistic approach towards government and the people of Trinidad to understae this drive towards saving the pro league.

  22. I ain’t like how u breaking ranks tho lol!!

  23. Captain Captain where the camps will run in space. On those run down fields ….Let me stick to my thing all you run camps. All you good yes

  24. Jamaal Shabazz i agreeing with u for grounds u know! But don’t want us to put all our energy in claiming grounds when the real solutions lie elsewher! My mother passing have taught me two things energy and time we never get back so let’s manage both well!! Choose what is d major solutions and in this guava season focus on them!! Summer coming let clubs look to run the Sportt summer camps, partner with schools in the area how malick sec fall off and cali in that area? Let’s look at d man in d mirror and drive forward this thing CAN NOT fail for the sake of the youths!!

  25. This is not a personal attack it is showing common sense geting a ground is not all point fortin civic center do not have a ground to call there own since entering the pro league ? Who crying for help as they do all we are hilighting is the proper business or marketing skills that goes along with it here in Trinidad we have a coaching staff out in the develop world is a dord of directors ‘ coaching staff: back room staff with experts in every field ‘ from coaching to marketing in the E P L each club in the premiership gets a couple million pounds each year from the league it self through television rights each club is grantied lets say 50 thousand at each home game an every fan buys there team kit .we no way there we will have to go uouthful an look for at least a thirty thousand extra each game to help turn overs with transport ‘ food equipment ‘ medical etc what we are saying proper marketing tools has to be in place along with the community ground

  26. The facility within the community is the springboard for economic activity . Especially as it relates to sponsorship media activity etc.

  27. Gordon you and Terry have you all battle with persons who not seeing it as you. You cannot decide that a ground would not help to change Caledonia condition. This is not just about pro league …why it is that in a community that has been so loyal to a party …..when you look at facilities for recreation its pathetic

  28. Well tell us how d ground will make money to fed a pro team? We always choosing some dummy fight instead of the real ones!! Connect with the community they will come to d games! Bc this whole year the big fight will b grounds for survival and when we get grounds we will realize that’s not d solution. That’s y entrepreneurs write proposals to identify how and how much income u can make fulling a 2500 ground five times a week can’t sustain a pro team and u not playing five times a week so let’s come up with real solutions and don’t waste time fighting a fake battle! Note as well none of the cricket community grounds earn no income!!

  29. For my reality I Caledonia get a ground we do not want Govt Subvention…..that is the sore point with bloggers.
    The other aspects for improvement I on Board but right now I want me some land …..you guys can give your vision blah blah blah. Nobody have to drink my medicine but when I go and hunt and bring in the Buffalo everyone will eat

  30. Gordon pierre you catch my drift

  31. Jamaal Shabazz and company this grounds as priority is a big red herring!! A community ground with 2500 ppl at 40 dollars twice a month can’t sustain not pro team!! Let’s b real grounds important but not d life line media coverage locally and internationally, teams hosting community competitions, youth cups and camps etc is d source of the proleague survival y we choosing to pretend that grounds is d major concern? Innovative futuristic thinking is d problem identifying possible income streams and investing in them!! Time for real solutions not bandages to cover sores

  32. Well leh meh come and join yuh in the board room nah, maybe they need some bacchanaling up eh, because as you know I am also for the football to be in our communities like in meh families sweet country Jamaica and it will be a done deal because players and coaches levels always raises when there is plenty crowd support eh and I am positively certain that Caledonia will definitely be winning plenty Championships like W Connection and Central F. C and I will not even be taking a salary for making certain that this happens eh my Prof. Jamaal Shabazz. Them really good yes.

  33. Good one Terry i have seen the best on those politicians pass through north east .i am not pulling down no coach however clubs fall victim of it is like the blind leading the blind ; we went 3 years straight with one of the largest budget an high price players with two knockout cup an only 5th place al 3 years all the suscess came via the youth teams and all that time i was preaching bring the team home , while sports max special one had his own agenda he did not want his short fall reach the office .all the intrested parties intrested in is how to ensure money comes to ensure they have a job an try to distroy the reputation of the other individuals so there personal agendas can be fulfilled .

  34. The Board is awaiting a requested meeting with the Sports Minister and others. I cannot talk for nor do I support keeping any entity out of the league once they find a way to meet the requirements. Nobody gets more blows than me in the Board room for inclusion of applicants but I will not break ranks on the issue of grounds.

  35. It’s just dawned on me that with all my experience and contacts worldwide and locally I have had ONE (1) coaches meeting in Trinidad in seventeen (17) years. SMH

  36. But my Prof Jamaal Shabazz how many times over and over eh, yuh have been telling the powers that be what is the right things to be done man eh, and they are still not getting it eh, the problem I see with all this madness that have been taking place in our sweet country eh, with respect to our football eh, is that like the fella (owner) in Grande and the ex corrupted sports minister and well you know the others and of course not my police and soldiers eh, is that these owners only wants to call all the shots for their teams and don’t have a board of directors which even they themselves can be fired, eh look at what is happening now even the ex corrupted sports minister is coaching now eh, so how will the football really move to another level eh, no wonder when some of the sponsors like SIS, and Bankers Trust come on board and really is exposed to the TRUTH about what is really taking place eh, they pull out eh. Them really good yes.

  37. I have no doubt there are those who have vision, drive and commitment to improve football in T&T, maybe just not the current Incumbent.

  38. The question might be raised Jamaal, what do the PFL board discuss in their meetings, progress, improvement, planning, vision? Or is it how we keep others out and away from their benefits?

  39. I has a propsal to hand in before this monthend once the boss makes his decision i will set the trend how it can be achieved .

  40. Roland we must recognize your efforts and contributions especially to North East Stars. And your efforts will not be lost since in coaching we are one day in one day out of a job. My mindset is on getting the powers that be to see the importance of a North East Stars playing in Grande. And instead of Jabloteh playing in Barataria with no gates …..they have access to a proper facility like Terry Fenwick says ….one whose surface can cater for multiple users. Artificial grass fields can be a solution with smaller areas around the ground earmarked for recreational sweaters and developed as well

  41. The fact that we are even discussing the absence of proper facilities for ANY sport along the East West Corridor is instructive.

  42. The corrupted Jack Warner started the so call professional league for only one reason and that was for him and his cronies to have youth World Cup tournaments in our sweet country and after making plenty monies eh, he decided it was time to even drop out of the league because plenty monies was spending to keep his team Joe Public running and he had other agendas to deal with, my uncle Jack not stupid eh, why continue spending monies on a so call professional league eh, paying out plenty monies to players and nothing is coming back in the kitty eh, and now that he stole the Center of Excellence and has his own Marvin League stadium eh, he is making plenty monies by renting it out for weddings, parties, and all other kind of functions eh and always going to the bank smiling and eventually as my Prof. Jamaal Shabazz said if the teams are not allowed to own their own fields in the communities eh, like meh uncle Jack Warner eh,where they can do their own fund raisers, etc, etc, to also make plenty monies eh, eventually the league will crash and we will have to return to the Super league which is played in the communities. Them really good yes.

  43. Jamaal what i am saying we need such vision an forsite jus as they did simple.

  44. My commitment is not negative is is positive criticism in order to survive i am like a lamb slattered for the cause i has been the ears the eyes of north east stars our failure is high price coaches and high price players we was the first community pro team with the recreation ground in grandie winning the league with a small budget an more youthful team in 2004 also for years we never had our own youth program we emplemented it it around 2010 an under my fould as youth director we got two youth title in the history of the club under my charge 2015/16 we started the seasson on a small budget a more youthful team and was top of the standing .the coaches who operated before me never had such vision is just coach an survive with high price players play in larry gomes taking the team away from its community while the well runing dry

  45. Just to note… cricket clubs do have issues with their grounds, they do not have full control but largely understood as ‘tenants’. The Club structure is not a one man show but some type of Board AND finally they are strongly supported by the TTCB. Hence my appeal again that TTFA & TTPro League need a national consensus/plan.

  46. Good point Jamaal, moreover football is the dominant sport in communities and pulls the bigger attendance/participation more than cricket throughout the year.
    Synthetic installations have bridged that gap and are suitable to both football and cricket.
    Porto Rico for instance play soccer and baseball on the same artificial pitches

  47. You feel is by guess cricket has grounds and football don’t?

  48. But Roland I get a sense that men trying to escape this grounds issue. And a big part of the problem is that clubs do not control fields in their areas. If you control grounds within the community youth structure etc are easier since your first port of recruitment are the youths in your area

  49. Again is the amdation and vision of some club owners why is when the well start to run dry we no start missing the water all the time water flowing we did not think or look down the road in that direction lets use cricket almost every cricket team has a ground to call there home . Upon this i give the benefit of the douth .

  50. Jamaal if you look at my first comment you will see i mention is only the service teams ‘ i also said a few teams has good structure i mention you and your club among the clubs that is surving with out high price players am i right about two years now you started your own youth structure after years of trend setter harkaws Dadda blast youth teams are now under your fold . North East for yearsadopted hughead teams over three years now we emplemented our own youth structure and we were successful however at the senior level we faltered not giving the youth structure more exposure going on spending spree for high price players . As i mentioned community grounds is only the first major hurdle.

  51. Part of our VISION is acquiring facilities but the Politicians nor the Regional Corporations in the PNM controlled communities are not sharing that VISION.
    You want passion ok look passion Terry Fenwick an English come Trini led a charge to develop a facility that is sitting doing nothing. You want dedication Jabloteh is probably 40 years Caledonia is 37 years plus. Off course we always in need of introspection and improvement but why cant we get the access and control that Clarke Road United, Preysal, Barrackpoore and others enjoy.
    Ok the Queen give Queens Park their so Her Majesty did not care about her other subjects?

  52. Roland Clarke it is only the service teams dont have a youth program. All those nice lovely words philosophy structure sounds really scholarly but until we get access to a facility and we fail then that is just good advice. So we do have youth teams some were slow in getting it off the ground. But its amazing when it comes to having access to land how easy brothers wants to shift our focus.
    Man I need to find Kunta Kinte yes

  53. I keep mentioning vision ‘ philosophy ‘ structure do a good check on all the pro league team ask for a development structure a structure a system of development they do not have they function on a coach an his staff .most clubs do not have youth program they use the services of out side youth teams .the survival depends on much more than jus a community grpund it depends on good structure vision people with dedication an passion for the sport it must be a holistic approach .

  54. A lot of talk about the pro league and community fields but think about this….
    The Min of Ed has no policy concerning the role of sports in the school cirriculum
    Schools are being built with no playing fields , the central area has suffered for this
    Many of the Regional corporations which are UNC controlled because of the cultural bias of party and lobby groups prepare grounds for cricket and in fact some grounds have been set up exclusively for cricket clubs even though tax payers money is used (millions) e.g. Avidesh Samaroo park, Tableland ground.
    Except for these special grounds all other community fields are not maintained in the true sense of the word….the grass is cut when the machine is available or when they can,there is no scientific approach.
    I did speak to the new Min of sport about doing an audit of all public playing fields. In terms of usage,age groups, soil type, drainage,facilities he told me this was underway, that was in January .
    Meanwhile there are a number of schools who are unable to participate in athletics,football,cricket as they have no field .

  55. Jamaal Shabazz it have one reason i does keep fit now!! That’s for the revolution!! I fed up of the talk the crabs in a barrel, the reason y in this modern world Eric William children still fighting for the crumbs!! The proleague can’t done!! Done talk and we supporting CPL!! A word to the wise is enough!!!!!

  56. The football has been better to us than any political party. It gave some of us scholarships to become doctors, lawyers, accountants. It gave some professional contracts , others get jobs in companies. It gave many a healthy lifestyle, enjoyment and it can bring a nation and communities together. And the politicians will deny us a facility to further develop the thing. This is oppression and there is only one solution for the oppressed …

  57. It comes back down to the fact that Eric Williams children have to suck salt. Eat rum and roti wining with we PNM jersey every 5 years and when you look within the communities that supported the party since the inception of electoral politics ….nothing to show…..

  58. So in the Pnm controlled Regional Corporations we cant but in the other Corporations Clarke Road Utd, Barrackpoore, Preysal could . But we not writing about them whose facilities up to standard for cricket and controlled by a group. Well not this son of an ex slave.

  59. These ancient archaic laws that prevent progress. How can one not see the value in sporting facility within a community like Morvant and Laventille. We prefer to be bogged down in egoistic arguments of who would control it rather than find a pathway of how it can work.
    We are becoming a people of cant do this and cant do that…..

    • Agreed 1000%. Sometimes I believe politics & business need poor down trodden areas as tools & scapegoats. Billions spent on Lifesport, Tarouba, Blimp, Eye in the Sky and the most populous low income area ain’t have 2/3 proper play grounds.

  60. What about cricket? Many of these community fields are used for both cricket and football. Playing cricket on synthetic turf should be interesting. Although there is a place for some Astro turf fields I would hate to see them be the norm in Tnt. I never understood why our fields are in such poor shape. Is it lack of technical expertise or like everything else just poor management? What about UWI? Particularly the agricultural department. Can’t they play a role in revitalizing many of our fields?

  61. Pro league can survive go back to the community produce goid foitball a holistic approach government coperate sponcers people with the vision .

  62. Great points. Government has been subsidising clubs such as Defence Force and Police for years. Ask yourself where does the prize money go when these clubs win or collect subventions? What is the money used for? Hiw are fees paid by these teams? Who controls their bank accounts? They should offer support to other clubs in the league or remove those teams as they are heavily subsidised by the state. Growing up, all I knew about was Army, Police or Trintoc. There were a few teams that were community based at the time that challeged those 3 occasionally. They have since faded from memory. These are still here and I would argue that it is because of government support. Those top teams could not have existed or won titles without the state’s involvement then, neither can they now. Something must be done to help the others level the playing field in some way.

  63. Excellent points by both Jamaal and Keith. We know anecdotally that our various professional teams aid in crime reduction, but there’s little scientific evidence of such. One of the criteria that must be in place for a future Life Sport type program is impact assessment. Those receiving funding must be able to show how their work is impacting the social issues they are working on. Their ability to access subsequent funding would be contingent on the extent of the impact they’re having. I wish our Minister of Sports was privy to these type of discussions. Lasana – we need to link him in.

    • The comments are stored under the story and remain there to be accessed by anyone who is interested.
      I don’t know if the Sport Minister reads. But I know other influential people in his ministry do.

  64. ..TTPL clubs have a financial plan that is geared toward independence and sustainability? That looks to other income streams that State largesse and hand outs? Why should the State owe more to a small, select group of football clubs than to retrenched workers and the people as a whole? And I never suggested that sport doesn’t play a role in providing an alternative to anti-social behaviour. But has anyone demonstrated a relationship between the subsidy to TTPL clubs and a reduction in crime in the areas where these clubs are located? It’s self-serving to just claim there is one. Anyhow, I promise to stay outta this yes..

  65. I dont think we should over personalize the issue to the sins of one or two clubs. Since the points made by Carlos Lee and company are pointing towards some sort of solution oriented approach. I think it is cynical to suggest that sports and culture does not have a counterbalancing effect on crime. Or to discount the social benefits of same. One has to wonder if Life Sport was put into the hands of the Pro League and Super League and Hoop for Life was put into the hands of a well organized Basketball Federation if it would not have been a tremendous avenue for development

    • Shabazz politically I don’t often agree with you. But I respect you. You don’t hide, you don’t patronize. Excellent points. The government always pays lip service. Send money ostensibly into distressed communities but really in the hands of friends, supporters and family.

  66. I loving the discussion!! Was tempted to jump in since last night but wanted the convo to develop. Football is a t its cross roads and any decision made now is going to have a telling effect! This a world cup qualifying year, Copa is on, European cup is on time to piggy back on the interest!! The Proleague media game must step up, the clubs must use this summer to connect with the communities through camps,community outreaches etc a plan and pathway must be developed for the Proleague for the next five years. All stakeholders NEED to return to the planning rooms examine what is locally,what has been done internationally and come up with a holistic plan going forward!! We have talked too much and it have come to this history will judge us time to stand up or shut up!!

  67. how could the team that won 2 league titles in a row collect 2 million and had sis and bankers insurance as sponsors can’t afford 2 be back in pfl ? let me tell you why when they busy taking people money and doing all kind of shit with a set of unnecessay money showing off and looking to be all up in the news instead of focusing on the important issues like balancing books growth and stability then why should they when its not your money spending but somebody else”s that’s the mentality of most trinis that’s why we can never go 1st world in anything the culture and mindset of people here are so backward and selfish

  68. TTFA President needs to call ALL clubs in. I don’t support ‘Community Stadia’ but certainly ‘Community Grounds’ with integration & some merging of Zones, Super League & Pro League Clubs. Jamaal’s fair request may be best nationally achieved than every man fighting for himself.

    • What’s the difference between community stadia and grounds though? I believe clubs want something that seats between 2,000 to 5,000 persons.

    • Mahaica oval is a community ground with no comfort afforded to fans. Whatever is done must be properly planned with fans and players in mind.

    • IMO a Community Ground is a simple 800-1000 seat stand [e.g Gustine or Fatima] with 600 seat removable bleachers. Regularly fill that in a 10 Year plan, with Gov’t support & then get teams to move to the stadiums!

    • Nicholas, you know that big cup games already get as much as double that eh. Granted most pro league games don’t though. But if the pro league already has one or two games a season that are between 1,000 to 2,000 attendance, then I feel you should cater for more spectators than 800 to 1,000.
      You give yourself no room for growth there. How expensive would it then be to upgrade?
      I would recommend you shoot for at least a 2,000 seater with the ability to expand within two years.

  69. What ground Caledonia or Jabloteh could own in their communities they controlled by state. Look Terry tried to get something done at no expense to Govt in the Morvant ground and men shoot it down

    • ..As they should have. Park Street is State property and belongs to the entire community, not any one club..

    • So how did Queens Park get their own. And how in cricket Clarke Road and Preysal and company can literally control so called community grounds and when it comes to football they same cannot apply ?

    • ..QPCC was a protectorate of the colonial State. You using them? And if some cricket clubs fot away with it foitball clubs must accept it? So when one club controls Park Street what happens to Elements FC? Or Cosmos Eagles FC? Or any other Morvant club? I agree community facilities are needed, FOR USE BY ALL CLUBS. Why should TTPL clubs have most favoured status.? Again. This is why I should have stayed away from this discussion..

    • There must be a formula where not just our club has exclusivety. Our care is not singular to our team. We can work out a schedule for use my language ‘ give us the venues ‘ may not have been the best choice of her majesty’s language. But times of training and matches are a matter of proper scheduling people within the community working together. This can only benefit Morvant and Laventille. Yet you are going to leave cricket clubs to get away with owning a ground and vehement against football doing same ?

    • ..You know me better than that. State property is the property of ALL. Come up with a proposal for the development of any field in question. FC Santa Rosa did for the Arima Velodrome. Five years ago. A complete proposal, including technical drawings, artificial field, and project budget. This would have benefited all Arima sport and the Velodrome would have REMAINED THE PROPERTY OF THE ARIMA BOROUGH CORPORATION. We submitted it to the ABC AND THE MP FOR ARIMA. That was the end of that. It went the way of all flesh. So I know. But good for TTPL good for all. The favouring of TTPL by the State is NOT good for our overall football development. And the TTPL clubs have shown little inclination and/or initiative to stand on their own..

  70. Keith the people Terry Fenwick talking about could do that easy. And that is why I brought the political connotation. At least we started we made an investment. ….for us now to ask Govt to give us community fields that are dilapidated anyhow is not a ridiculous request

  71. So its not a case we just went with a cap in our hands we had 5 years of investment and proof of what we put into the national economy. YOU all know to run even a zone team you have to beg borrow and literally ‘tief’

  72. ..How about the clubs creating the basis for self-sufficiency instead of waiting on the State?..

  73. It is important to know the genesis of the funding from Govt. The Pro League approached the Ministry of Finance and made a case for the industry showing the investment made by the Clubs. It was predicated on the agreement that Govt would make available and upgrade community grounds to Pro League Clubs. In this way with revenue earning grounds a shelf life would be determined for the monthly funding. Successive Governments choose to continue the funding but ignore the opportunity to create self sufficiency so we never got the upgraded revenue earning fields.
    So to suggest why Pro League clubs ? We made a case to the Minister of Finance based on our investments it did not start on Govt funding. And what prevents other entities from organizing themselves to seek same.

  74. All clubs /organizations would be entitled to submit proposals. And clear criteria /guidelines will need to be established before hand. But like all well intended programs that are government driven, there’s always a possibility for corruption. Thoughts on how best to manage such a program? Independent board? There should be some good learnings from the former Life Sport program.

  75. For the life of me, I don’t understand why football teams feel they can’t reach outside of themselves to run or improve a business or business model.. FIFA has lawyers and businessmen. The Super League got Anthony Harford. The examples and success stories are out there. I think government has to support any entity that showcases a sustainable model that allows for weaning off the government teats after some period, maybe three to five years?? Any such government policy should be industry neutral and have a set of defined rules and regulations. It would apply to football, culture or any industry requiring an initial helping hand, and which would be a net positive to the economy and communities. Overall, it must be sustainable, so possibly the government should request a seat on any board which will help with oversight and general assistance to meet annual goals. Once, an organization wants to access said funds, they would decide if they could comply with the requisite rules and regulations. Good discussion.

  76. ..I promised myself to stay out of this. The same issue would remain. Doh vex wit meh: Lots of people frame their appeal to the state for funding in “crime fighting” terms. Has anyone ever quantified the social benefits of that funding? Does it truly stop crime? Selection criteria. Why only TTPL clubs? Why not others? How deep into the football pyramid should this proposed programme descend? NSL? Regions? Club capacity to absorb funding.

  77. Yes Keith. A better managed Life Sport type program.

  78. Excellent point Stefano Monti. Very well said. Government funds should not be used to pay for a professional football league. However, Pro League teams, with a little creativity, should be able to access government funds through contractual means. For example, they can write proposals to the government to establish and run football and related camps in the communities in which they live. If they can show that such camps/community based programs will help to reduce crime, provide kids with one or more technical skills, develop soft skills, provide kids with positive role models, and indirectly serve as a daycare while parents are away at work, then government should want to fund the program. The funds can then be used by the professional teams to offset their expenditures. If the government continue to issue $50K checks to all professional football clubs they will never think outside the box. There is a saying necessity is the mother of all invention/innovation.

  79. There are also albatrosses that need to be retired and then there are those who are self seeking at the expense of the beautiful game and the players in positions of leadership. They need to slink away.

    I agree with Shabazz, The PNM has much to be thankful for and they should sponsor the football. They also need to uplift the very persons who perpetually keep them in the halls of power. If the Government are serious about using Sport as a vehicle to develop character and self esteem and as a way to alleviate poverty and crime, then they need to subsidize the game. Our Pro league remains developmental because it has never been fully supported and funded by the TTFA. The funds were siphoned off and made its way in offshore accounts and local banks.

    Corporate Trinidad will only step up if there is tangible benefits to them. Trini as a whole only like sports when teams and athletes are winning, we like fete way more than sports.

    The government has to restore the game to its past former glory before jack warner dismantled elite teams and appointed yes men at the helm of all aspects of the game. They can do this by building community fields and employing persons to administer and maintain them.

    After the crowds come to support as a matter of regional pride, they can gradually hand over full responsibility to the clubs. The ONLY reason the Pro league has survived is through Governmental subvention. just ask the Lackey Harrison. he was on here just yesterday crying on how difficult it was to pay salaries on the Government money. Someone asked him wheat about the Prize money and he slinked away, unfortunately not for good. A soon as he hears the clinking of pennies he will reemerge for a share.

    Meanwhile the game suffers, the players suffer and black hen chickens sucking salt.

  80. Lol. Good one Stefano. And I agree that club owners should take some risk and put their own losses on the line. But the State helps the private sector all the time. Either to establish a new industry (grants in IT), or to help an industry that is considered too valuable to fail for different reasons (like entertainment or agriculture).
    The State swooped in to help CLICO, for instance, without seizing Duprey’s properties so he could pay for his mess himself.
    I think an arrangement can be made that is acceptable to most. I don’t see why the professional sporting industry should not get some help to get going.
    The State and the country will benefit if it works. Remember the Gov’t gives all sort of incentives to people like Arcellor Mittal who become billionaires. Why not help Steve David or Jamaal Shabazz in some sort of sustainable way?

    • ..To “get going”? The TTPL have collectively received hundreds of millions over the years and have nothing to show for it. Why should the State continue to fund this while cutting subsidies for State enterprises, among other cutbacks..

  81. Lasana Liburd everybody are right in some point of this discussion my point is that government should support always amateur sports,when you decide to acquire a club to improve your image or to climb the ladder of success or to try to make money you do it at your own risk ..somebody use to say (in a nice way) it is easy to be gay with somebody else ass

  82. I trying my best to remain politically correct here

  83. The names you called all benefitted from the patronage of the people to build their empires. And with the help of the political directorate they worked hard but it was consumers and political favours to. Therfore how do you balance it? By those who have partnering now with the constituents who gave the power to the politicians who helped open doors for them

  84. North east stars still waiting to get pay

  85. You are right Jamaal, there must be considerable change in the existing system and structure to attract corporates for the common good. That would mean a radical change of principles at the PFL

  86. Agreed but Sabga, Moutette, Aboude, Hadeed, Bagwansingh, Sammy, Loc Jack, movietown guy, none invest in football. Why?

  87. However if two get it right and set an example then there is a model to follow

  88. PFLand the clubs are only seeking favors from state companies

  89. And then they want sport played in their million dollar facilities too. Right Nicholas? Two hands must clap.
    I agree that it cannot be a blank cheque and it ought not to be forever. But I don’t see why something cannot be worked out between all the stakeholders including the Govt. To at least see if it can be viable.

  90. In some cases Terry that lack of trust is valid but in most cases its an excuse.

  91. And like I always like to add… we spend billions building sport facilities. In tough times, the Ministry of Sport cuts sport assistance, but do you know we have been renting the SPORTT Co. building & Min. of Sport Building for millions!!!! The irony!

  92. The Gov’t does support Carnival though Stefano. Pays prize money for Soca Monarch and Calypso and stipends for steel pan and so on.
    I don’t think the Gov’t should help a private enterprise indefinitely. But if we are looking at is as helping develop a new industry then that might be different. And if the Gov’t is getting something back.
    For instance, there are State grants available for people starting several different businesses.
    You make good valid points Stefano. But remember we always speak about diversifying and that does require some State assistance.

  93. This thing could work but the Govt have to play their part, private sector and offcourse the football leadership must adapt and adjust approaches

  94. Trust, there is no trust in any sports organization’s administration. Management and administration fail our game. The stigma of the past and uncertainty of the future scare potential sponsors.
    How many corporate sponsors contribute to PFL clubs?

  95. Its deep and hypocritical that we wait for an upsurge in violence to preach about the youth and the youth in sports and culture. And companies making millions and refuse to hold the hands of clubs and Sporting Bodies to give back.

  96. Govt have all the resources to bring private sector to the table and set up the industry in sports step by step.

  97. Sports have a right to govt funding especially when it can be channeled to create an industry. I not talking no hand out

  98. Problem is activists have been trying to get things done with people who have been asleep. The move is to wake up the people and let them understand the value of their vote. Then all you who saying Govt should not do this and that…..watch when the people become awake

  99. I agree that the football leadership should call stakeholders together towards a collective plan. However you guys and gals could let the politicians off the hook not me.
    50 plus years of blind loyalty to a political party even when that party was in their darkest days has a price to be paid to Eric Williams children

  100. Interesting discussion with several great points of view!

  101. anybody ever see a financial statement of a pro league club?

  102. Good points Jamaal…esp if gov’t supports HR by a significant sum and I believe in fighting for equity. But Stefano is correct. From a business point gov’t can’t support Pro League while they work by trial & error. Football needs a national plan… its all turf bet. leagues and clubs. We are a small market and I can bet TTFA, Super League, Pro League has no fixed plan for the next 5 -10 years, with the steps needed to get there.

  103. Yea and the crap I have seen state funding go towards. Govt helping to make football an industry especially to the children whose parents backs they rode on to achieve political power

  104. that’s my opinion…your is different no problem

  105. ok than,they should support carib brewery to..they providing more employment than pro league and for sure they have more followers

  106. Its not private only because all the teams play a social role by providing employment. Govt can support the horse racing industry and not support football. Again our reality is not your reality

  107. i never say that,government should continued to suppot sports and football, i’m not agree to support pro league,thats a private business

  108. Check my history I have a way of getting politicians to listen. I coming home soon God willing

  109. Fair enough but getting Govt to give up the community fields for us to develop and create mini stadia could change the no crowds issue.

  110. Jamaal Shabazz you can get knowledge and experience in amateur contest also,a good example is Italian serie d a semi pro league with a lot of supporters and followers,we have to be realistic no sponsor if is not for friendship reason will invest money in a league with few followers in trinidad priority are fete and party,sponsors going there

  111. I dont think we would get knowledge in throwing in the towel. I think we would gain knowledge in all those areas pointed out by seeking it, sourcing the intellect and in some cases by trial and error.

  112. And those who feel is just Govt money runs pro league teams should talk to club owners.

  113. Stefano respect to you for being an advocate of the group who say we can’t we should not lets go back. Going forward have obstacles challenges and demands of us deep thought analysis and action.
    There are still a group of us prepared to find a pathway forward

  114. Chandani Boodoo be very careful about ur statements! Alleged should be used before all ur statements and u are correct about d monitoring but it was more for his relationship with his cousins

  115. Check the vast majority of corporate decision makers, they have no connection with Football, some have had their fingers burnt in the past

  116. What are they playing pull shirt?

  117. I will say again professional football in Trinidad is utopia there is not sponsorship except sponsor friendship,there is not supporters,there is lack of knowledge in every aspect of the football businness ,technical, financial, medical,managerial etc etc better go back amateur. . The best talent came up in that time anyway

  118. No no wrd on that yet. Hopefully soon.

    • Lasana Liburd that would remove the pressure from Central, but how would it affect the financial stability of the League? The League receives subvention from Ministry of Sport.

    • I’m not talking about the Pro League using its own funds. Just using from Central’s prize money to ensure the players and staff are paid.

    • Stay on top of it. If there is any chance that you all won’t be paid, you would need to approach the Pro League directly with your claim for payment.
      If they accept it, the Pro League would withhold prize money meant for Central to settle their debts.

    • Lasana Liburd maybe other clubs would do that, but we can’t expect players to wait for months for salaries. At this point, no players salaries are unpaid. However, bonuses will be paid once outstanding prize money is received.

    • Well, prize money was received already? N’est pas? And that was a month and a half ago. Why weren’t any bonuses paid from that?

    • Lasana Liburd some prize money was received, yes. That would have assisted with the $200,000 shortfall in subvention and competing in the CFU as well as helping to plug the hole left by Bankers.

    • Since part of that prize money was already promised to players and staff, Central quite obviously “filled gaps” with money that didn’t belong to management.
      That is always a risky business strategy. But I hope you pull it off and still satisfy your debts.

    • Fortunately we’ve managed to honor contracts so far without using money that didn’t belong to management. Back to the topic: long term planning needs to take place and the discussion must include government and TTFA (as well as Super League and schools)

    • I will look into it, Nobody has told me anything

  119. Sheldon, allyuh get called in for bonuses yet?

  120. Maybe Sancho and his lackey Harrison could dip into their pockets and pay the players. Hahahahaha fat chance of that huh.

  121. Or new leadership for Pro League

  122. This is taking us back to the argument about gov’t subventions..hhmm

  123. Football is d bastard chile now. Waiting to see all who gonna fight me for a seat in d stadium come Sept against Guatemala. And then I’ll be unable to get a seat in covered if we make the final stage.

  124. What is the pro league doing to help clubs financially though?

    • The Pro League board comprises of the member clubs. Not sure how you mean.

    • I mean the pro league got a 900k rights deal with Flow for the youth league. Who did that and is that person working on something similar for the pro league and will the money from a rights deal filter down to the clubs somehow?
      I mean if you want NE stars to play point fortin, there is some distance between them and transportation has to be paid for. Is the pro league for example talking to the PTSC to get either free or subsidised buses for teams to get to and from these games.
      I mean the article said that the champions league increased its allowance to teams for away games. Does the pro league have an allowance for away games? Is it planning to raise the allowance if one does exist, in light of the reduced government subvention in the face of maintained operational costs?
      I mean how is the pro league helping clubs financially to facilitate their participation in the pro league?

    • The Pro League is the clubs. It isn’t like how the TTFA president does his own thing supposedly on behalf of the people who elected him.
      So they decide how money is spent. At present, most of the money that they raise are shared through prize money with the Govt subvention being the one thing that is supposedly shared equally.
      I’m not sure that Club Sando got for the first half of last season though.
      Skeene’s job is to implement the wishes of the board as well as advise them. So that’s the relationship there.
      I’d want to think that the Pro League will get a tv deal for next season. Even if they get $3 million, that’s just under $300,000 per club or just over three months salary at best.
      It would help a lot but won’t solve their problems on its own.
      They have to put their backs into it to get through next season.
      Concacaf has a tv deal, FIFA funding and sponsors. That US$40,000 fee for away games in Concacaf is almost an insult. So glad it went up.
      Teams in Caribbean competition got zero prize money. Only recently they started paying them about US$8,000 for an away game or something. That’s poor.

    • My question more was what is the pro league doing to raise money or to help clubs offset costs. Prize money isn’t the same as pure sponsorship. So does the pro league have a single sponsor for food for example so that after each match, players get whatever food. Same for drink, transport, uniforms etc etc.
      Just seems like it would be easier to get collective sponsorship deals for some things rather than clubs going it alone. So that’s what I mean by what is the pro league doing.

    • Chabeth, I get you. I know there is a Blue Waters deal. Not sure if there are others.
      Jamaal, do you know?

    • Part of the issue with the pro league is there is no sense of a real strategy for self sustainment. Even when deals are announced like the youth deal with flow, the clubs get minimal value. During the season, there is minimal marketing of the league and the website which can be of service there is minimalist to say the least. They really should have brought in a business development professional years ago to help but we shall see if they do anything other than the “symposium” suggested in this article.

    • As far as i can see from a NF Perspective: Not much Pro in a league that can’t survive without government handouts. In Triathlon we constantly trying to improve our market value by using (free) publicity tools. As a result, with zero pros at this time we yet covering already about 30% of our annual expenses via Sponsors with a growing tendency. There were some setbacks outside our control that had us not achieve our goal of being self supporting (through sponsorship) by now…. we are about 2-3years behind right now….

    • I agree the League gets what it wants but is the request based on sound business analysis. That is my point.

    • The league is an organisation and each of the clubs are an organization. The clubs themselves have done little to connect to fans and create a long term following and generate income.

    • Dwayne, hence why after a few years, the model has to change for self sustainability.

    • If the leadership of the clubs and the leadership of the pro league are essentially one and the same, then what obtains at the league level will be no better than what obtains at the club level.

    • What most people don’t understand is this is the clubs’ private league. That’s OK if you have a vision for creating a sustainable business. But they are mainly interested in operational items such as venues or matches and season schedules. This is why they have done next to nil to build their own fanbase.

      Changing the structure is not just easier said than done but is only possible if the clubs agree.

      The administration has within its resources done a lot to promote the competitions and build a brand. I would posit that after the Socawarriors, West Indies and the National Cricket Team the league
      it is the biggest local Sports brand.That is no small part due to the work of the administration.

    • Andreas, the cost of the Pro League would surely be much much higher. Just for starters, you’re talking about renting between two to four grounds a week and funds for officials and administrators. And that’s before you get to salaries.
      Brian Jordan, the clubs get whatever they want from the deals. So I don’t think anyone is holding anything from them. And marketing and web administration all come with costs too.
      So those things are not easily remedied as they may seem. Although I do think the Pro League can use the social media more. Meaning ALL 10 clubs as well as the governing body. A few clubs do try to varying degrees of course. And the Pro League does have a Facebook and Twitter presence.

  125. Why you like to send people to bed vex so ? Lol

  126. You just couldn’t let us reflect on the joys of football after a good Argentina game eh