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Pro League receives monthly subventions… but no future guarantees

The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) made out cheques to eight of the Pro League’s 10 member clubs—Defence Force and Police FC are excluded for obvious reasons—after newly appointed CEO Adam Montserin met representatives from the teams at the SporTT office in the National Cycling Velodrome on Thursday morning.

The clubs had not received their TT$50,000 subventions since September.

Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

A SporTT release suggested that the late payments were due to “funding and compliance issues that prevented the clubs [from accessing] their monthly budget subvention.” These issues supposedly included: business plans, BIR numbers, audited accounts, strategic plans, incorporation letters, etc.

One counter proposal by club representatives was an amendment to the Corporate Act, so clubs can enter into business agreements regarding the use of community grounds. SporTT has promised to look at those issues, which can lead to more self-sufficiency from the clubs.

Sports Company chairman Michael Phillips admitted recently that his organisation is in dire financial straits.

Pro League clubs believe that the government will honour their promise to fund the teams until the end of the season in February. But it is uncertain what will happen thereafter.

Montserin, the former CEO at iGovTT’s National Information and Communication Technology Company Limited, vowed to meet the clubs again next month.

“We would meet again in January to look at improving how we engage clubs and to further discuss the possibility of public-private partnerships to enable them to achieve their objectives.”

Photo: St Ann's Rangers midfielder Dylon King (centre) charges towards the Ma Pau Stars defence during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 October 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers midfielder Dylon King (centre) charges towards the Ma Pau Stars defence during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 October 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

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282 comments

  1. I accept it must not be an exclusive club

  2. Chris men could stay outside and pelt stones but is when men come inside the thing real

  3. ..When workers under pressure. The people bawling. State cutbacks. I could see a subsidy for elite clubs. Not just TTPL. But you can’t depend on the State for your very existence. The TTPL is a self-fulfilling cycle. YOU IN THE LEAGUE SO YOU GET MONEY. AND YOU GET MONEY SO YOU IN THE LEAGUE. AND NOBODY ELSE COULD GET IN..

  4. … and Jamaal is right … clubs have put in so much more than government … but it’s all pissed away as the model is wrong and not supportive of the member clubs

  5. But I bringing examples of what club’s put in outside of Govt.

  6. OK …. let me start ….
    Sheldon Scipio, Leslie Fitzpatrick and I put a professional proposal together to the PL clubs a number of years back now … part of that proposal was a complete refurbish of the league … all clubs bar one (David John-williams’ club) voted for it … a lot of research was done … “lack of funding” was the excuse not to proceed … we went to chat with “Honest Anil” about a funding plan (we all now know what he was funding) the TTPL can be a huge success and serious investment can be attracted BUT –
    1) self-interested parties and empire builders must be shunned and the game must come first
    2) honest and transparent governance must be a priority
    3) proper structured relationships with government, media, grass roots and corporate sectors must be built, monitored and maintained
    4) people in the league must be taught how to generate income, not just ask for it
    5) the league and/or the TTFA should “co-produce” television and other media content
    6) an independent marketing contractor should be brought in on a modest contract with performance initiatives

    This being said, we are still interested in helping, and we believe the TTFA is on steadier ground right now, but there is a lot to be done.

    Right now, all we see is adding a coat of paint here and there to a broken business model … a completely new business model is required.

  7. ..Yea I did. About eight years ago. But EUREKA! The light bulb went on! Too much money for too lottle value. Money we don’t have and money we wouldn’t spend now if we had it. But my club is not the issue here. The story is about the TTPL..

  8. Doing nothing for self? My club sign a 3 year deal with Courts….have a contract with Massy and NP…..Is you guys making joke yes

  9. You tried to get into this same League not too long ago. Why it suddenly is a failure?

  10. The main difference is investment Keith don’t trivialize our investment 6 years of Govt input cannot compare to 15 years club input and sponsorship

  11. Travis the Pro League has been an avenue for players and coaches to earn a living and still is. These same owners you all trying to bash have invested more than Government…you should know even if Keith remain in different.
    There is a pre requisite to a tv deal and trust me we working on that prerequisite and while there is room for a lot of improvement we have done a great deal of service socially and economically ….

  12. ..And the main difference between the TTPL and the SL is in the former the player trains more. A good, well trained SL team will hold its own against any TTPL side..

  13. If a club can motivate semi pro players to compete why not that money is to gurantee salaries. This bacause in the past there were dishonest owners, so the Peter Paul principle applies to all.

  14. ..I would NEVER spend 400k to play in a disorganized league when I have dozens of young people to see after..

    • So i pay 450k to register in a league…and then cant pay my players….and the League Directors sit there with my 450k looking at me and whistling sarcastically…knowing that i cant pay my players…but you hav my 450k and smiling…maybe i missed something

  15. To have to pay 400,000 to enter is too much and clubs end up with a monolopy knowing they not going down so the players must come ro them if they want to live their dream

  16. ..We need the robust natural selection of promotion and relegation. Football Darwinism, if you will. Competition is at the heart of all progress..

  17. Correct lasana this is at the heart of the problem

  18. As I mentioned I an earlier comment Travis, I don’t believe in the MLS model and won’t want to see it implemented here.
    In fact I think our pro league already seeks to operate like that with its closed shop. I think a league without promotion and relegation is anti competitive and football suffers.

  19. We need an entertaining product that customers and investors would get behind and support. Then we need a strong pipeline to help sustain the product. The single entity system, with teams located in key communities and with the right people at the helm could lead to a viable product.

  20. Then clubs must reform and move away from the President for life format we all cannot be coaches young men with ideas are turned away from clubs bacause there is no upward mobility no one can challange then the club stays the same doing the same there are young U.W.I.graduates than can bring ideas to the areas we need to improve on. Take the Olympic organizarion we should follow Brian’s lead

  21. If we argue…well lets say debate….first lets realise that NO SPORT can sustain itself…..be interesting…..become the most played sport in the world without FANNNNNSSSSSSS…that being said…do we remember when the MLS just started….we alllllllll thought it would crash….why was that….NO FANNNNSSSSS…and this is a country with over 100 million people….the best media in the world…and the pioneers if advertising….so they never gave up on themselves and watch now….packed stadiums…and attracting some high profile players of quality…all be it …some of them in their twilight years…..but u alllll get my point….can we alll as Footballing heads say that the MLS could hav come from where it was to where it is now …without FANNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSS

  22. Carlos Lee I think that could work u see as I mentioned earlier ‘our market’ we need to adopt or innovate ideas for our situation,some like my partner Lasana Liburd thinks the European model is best ,I think the US model with some tweaking along I’d the way to go; since we already have a prominent school league. I am all for pro football but a league with 18 league games is a joke that half a league. Why can’t we for example follow Argentina with another apertura and clausura so we can possibly have 2 Champs after 18 rounds of matches and 2 teams to contest the Caribbean club championship

  23. Sheldon Scipio you hit the nail on the head . Outside of 20/20 West Indies team abysmal.but you know what if they playing test or 1 day in the oval tomorrow morning it full ,so for most Trini sport had to be a lime a social event like going to the gym is for many today lol,its not about performance on the field

  24. Can we scrap the Pro League in its current format and create something akin to the MLS – a single entity type system? We can start with an 8-10 team league and teams will be allocated to various communities/towns/zones. The league will be run by a board of directors, with a commissioner similar to the MLS. A draft system will occur each year tapping into college league players and top players from all over the Caribbean region. A salary cap would be implemented, but like the MLS each team will be allocated one or more franchise players, who will be used to help market/sell the league. Government subventions could be used to get the new format going with the expectation that as a package the league would be able to attract television deals etc.

    • That will never happen. You know how many egos would get bruised?

    • Lol. I think it could work and then eventually expand to a Caribbean league. But I hear you on the ego thing.

    • People would have to admit the Pro League is unsuccessful in its current format. But we have to define success. If it gets people into something positive as some have claimed is defined as successful then we in the wrong business. I have no dog in the fight but I don’t see how it is sustainable in its current format.

    • There is absolutely no way that cud work…men want to turn Football into a business…in Trinidad….where there r absolutey not enough fans to sustain the league’s life….apparently like everyone forgot that a top of the table clash in the pro league can barely muster 2oo people in the stands….
      But Caledonia playin in d community can get u 1500…..i hope we see what needs to b done…and WHERE

    • A single entity system doesn’t mean football is not a business. In fact it’s quite the opposite. You will still need managers/team owners etc. It’s more akin to how a franchise works. It’ll be easier to get everyone swimming with the tide as the whole becomes more important than the parts.

    • I don’t agree with the MLS format Carlos. And I’ve spoken to US soccer reporters who see the same issue that we see here. It is anti competitive.
      In the MLS, you can be a freeloader and simply keep your budget small and survive and get your share of the tv slice and so on while riding on the other team’s coat tails.
      It happens here in the Pro League too.
      US reporters tell me how teams simply take a year or two off in the MLS and send out crap teams and don’t really invest.
      I’d rather us create a system of promotion and relegation that takes you from zonal game all the way to the pro league.

    • I’m not sure about the league being anti competitive. Obviously some markets are stronger than others and their corresponding teams perform better than the teams from weaker markets. Same in the NBA and NFL etc. Could be a viable option to start with and once your product has sufficiently matured and caught on you can move to alternative options.

    • Carlos that already IS structure of Pro League. And I don’t like it. To me, no proper league should run like a collapsed shop. I’m certain in every American sport you would find that maybe as many as one third of owners are freeloaders who do little to help the quality.

    • The reason u cannot get top world class players coming out of the MLS is bcuz there is no demotion….a football league with their NBA format….

  25. Long time now since I playing I know things wrong with the structure and design of the pro league, I eent to numerous stakeholders at the admin level and ask them to fix a ground in their community and play games there ,I am happy to see that happening but I wonder if it’s a matter of necessity rather than strategy any which way it’s the way to go ,of all the stakeholders in this football the administrators are most lacking and until they accept that there will be no upward mobility. Then the players have to get rid of the URP mentality and boat ride romance and be dedicated hand hardworking,coaches have to get their act together through education and application .stop giving talented players a Bligh but give dedicated players a Bligh.

  26. ..We like to talk Travis. TALK. And we are to easily satisfied with mediocrity and freeness..

  27. As KL is saying about the TV deal it goes back to lazy uninspired administrators ,the Jamaican league is on sportsmax why not the TTPL??? A combination of gates,tv revenue, sponsorship money and player sales to foreign leagues will make the thing work but the players have to be up to par .I see no reason with the talent we have clubs can’t be selling players annually,but talent is luck what you do with the luck is what counts.

  28. Chris Tanner

    Please sit in on this

  29. Our talent is up there, you think nobody is watching, nobody wants to invest, but we wish to hold on so tightly

  30. People came from India with that open invitation, sometimes we have to let our child go out into the world, for the child to Blossom

  31. ..BECAUSE STATE MONEY JUST LANDING IN MEN LAP! DAT’S WHY!..

  32. Who say ask local, if we join forces with the right businessmen, we do not have to only seek local. The WICB may be shaky, they invited foreign businessmen and held meetings. Look at the T-20 now.

  33. ..WHY THE INFERIOR JAMAICAN LEAGUE HAVE A TV DEAL TOO?..

    • Because Red Stripe invested in a local product. Carib could do the same here if they wanted. And before people say that they would get no return on the investment, how much do alcohol companies invest in carnival fetes? Does anyone leave a fete and remember who the sponsors were? Their beer would sell without spending thousands to get their name on the poster.

  34. ..SO WHY SSFL HAVE A TV DEAL AND TTPL NOT EVEN ON RADIO?

  35. Sheldon Scipio, the local television stations won’t even pay to broadcast carnival. You think they will pay for football?
    It is a nice long term goal but we are still light years from that. People have to be a bit more patient with the evolution.

  36. I really don’t want to add to the bacchanal and pulling and tugging but I think I will throw in my 5cents . 90% of the footballers in the super league are players who give up on football as a career whether ex pros,ex internationals ,ex college league stars etc so as far as being important to football I personally don’t think it is. it is a glorified Saturday and sunday sweat in my opinion .So KL is correct when he said that alot of super league players make more $ than pro league players .they work and receive a stipend when all the ‘pros’ receive is a monthly stipend can’t call it a salary to play full time. That’s the only thing that can be compared to professionalism the fact that they play 5-6 times a week. The players for the most part in the pro league have no ambition to succeed at the highest level and are more interested in boat ride than football.the administrators could do alot better,but mist don’t understand the business of football especially in a market like ours.ost of the coaches are unprofessional in their approach,lifestyles etc ,well I won’t mention the referees they need prayer. Then we come to the fans who would make me a prophet when they reply to this post that the level of play too poor for them to support in their thousands like in every other Caribbean island that I have played in,because these Caribbean islands don’t have access to cable TV to see la liga, prem,serie a or bundesliga . The same experts who talking all the fancy talk bout what would and wouldn’t work ask them when last they went to a pro league game. Waiting on the replies.

    • Interesting points! I like the last point…the PUBLIC! Agree with the lack of support & willingness to pay. We [Administrators] need to find a way to create a desire for the sport product…and that’s a long term thing but needs to start in Primary & Secondary School.

  37. The present Owners have got to create a package to be sold to TV, attract people who have done it, foreign investors who will want to own a Team, and partners who have the money to support this venture. They may become minority Owners, but the game and League will survive.

  38. Maybe we should think as one place a three year plan in place critically assess the past 80 million in football how much of that was spent on marketing we maybe have to concentrate on the whole package advertising is just as important as the teams and maybe we should move away from the English model and adopt the German food for thought

  39. Hence the reason why the pro league teams should start promoting their star players eh, and make certain that their numbered jerseys makes plenty monies whilst selling them amongst other things. Them really good yes.

  40. No pro league can survive without TV Rights, big money TV rights, and that depends on the product you put out. The reason the US is importing “Star” players power. That is why the NBA can go worldwide, because they do they best to have Star Players from across the globe

  41. Well actually was referring to the private millions that cannot be accounted for eh. Them really good yes.

  42. Well that was clico sponsoring millions in jabloteh was that government or private????

  43. Especially that Central team and when Clico was the Jabolteh sponsor to eh. Them really good yes.

  44. Is there anything from the government accounts that said pro leagues clubs can’t account for government allocations…just asking …would like to know lasana???

  45. Thats why I will keep saying the jokers were there 20 years and what has happened to the sport with their imput…i would have been concerned if for so many years my voice as an integral part of the establishment did not have accomplished more for a more professional mentality and environment…football is suffering …..the respect we give to people and we dont see that level head towards the great good…smh

    • ..Doh blame Jack for dat! Might be nice politics but ignores the facf that TTPL was formed as a private league to get out from under Jack, did just that , and has failed. And we don’t need to recount the countless ways in which Jack supported and carried players, coaches, clubs, and the league itself on his back. Some of us follow football long time Earl..

    • Well always thought Jack did his part but can’t understand for the life of me…how comes trinidad after a world cup campaign .qualified and still with millions gained from qualifying still a national sporting center is still no where to be found for me it’s unbelievable and to compare other Caribbean islands with the goal project and enjoying the benefits…this was introduced under his stewardship and Trinidad is still crying for help…our leaders for u…adminstrators were around helping …so what was wrong??

    • ..Because we like to leave the work to a few people and we love freeness..

  46. ..Yes. As PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE it is. Clubs can’t account for money received and spent? JOKE..

  47. The Mr.said a joke…you understand why the football is where it is…keep looking!!!!