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Proof of payment to players? Check! Pro League clubs pass SporTT vetting process

Maybe TT Pro League clubs are well-run, financially-responsible organisations after all.

Despite a stream of horror stories from current and past players and administrators about poor financial practice by top flight local football clubs, Wired868 understands the Pro League’s eight franchises eligible for government subventions have all submitted relevant financial information to the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), including proof of NIS payments to players.

Photo: Jabloteh coach Marvin Gordon (left) has a word with his team after their 2-1 win over Prisons in Ascension Invitational action at Bourg Mulatresse on 18 August 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images-Wired868)

The eight TTPL teams are: W Connection, Central FC, North East Stars, Point Fortin Civic, Club Sando, San Juan Jabloteh, Morvant Caledonia AIA and Terminix La Horquetta Rangers.

The Pro League’s other two members, Defence Force FC and Police FC, do not qualify for subvention as they are already state bodies.

A SporTT source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the financial documents from the TTPL teams were vetted internally before being forwarded yesterday to deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Farook Hosein.

Once approved there, Hosein is expected to arrange a meeting with Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe as early as next week to discuss the second tranche of payments to Pro League clubs.

The Pro League is in year two of a three year deal with the government, which entitles clubs to a combined TT$4.8 million in 2018, TT$3.6 million in 2019 and TT$2.6 million in 2020.

Last season, the eight aforementioned clubs collected TT$600,000 each from taxpayers. They are due TT$450,000 each for the 2019/20 TTPL season, which is scheduled to kick off on 4 October 2019.

Photo: TTFA president and W Connection owner David John-Williams (centre) greets players (from right) Hughtun Hector, Alvin Jones and Maurice Forde before kick off against Police FC in the TTFA FA Trophy final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

At present, the TTPL is attempting to expand to two tiers and have invited Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) clubs to join its second division. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has invited TTPL and TTSL clubs to a meeting on Saturday at which details of the new structure are expected to be revealed.

TTFA president David John-Williams is the president of Pro League team, W Connection. Thus far, TTSL president Keith Look Loy has opposed the proposed merger.

Defence Force, Morvant Caledonia AIA, San Juan Jabloteh, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, Club Sando and Police are all competing in the ongoing Ascension Invitational Tournament, which ends on 23 September.

Should the Ministry of Finance accept the vetting done by SporTT, the Pro League clubs would expect to receive subventions in time for an early October kick off.

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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