March 22, 2019, 12:24:52 AM

Author Topic: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread  (Read 10488 times)

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Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2018, 01:53:16 AM »
Mismanagement, exploitation and repeat errors…but League can be saved!
By Roneil Walcott (Wired868).


Pro League players speak (Pt 2):

With the future of the Pro League hanging in the balance, things are looking brown for football in Trinidad and Tobago. But if there is one issue that Yohance Marshall, Densill Theobald and the experienced national footballer dubbed JP are agreed on, it is that a properly functioning and well-run Pro League is essential for a healthy national team set-up.

At least one of them, however, is quite prepared for domestic football to back-back a little so that it can move forward smoothly in the near future.

“It may be better if we take a backward step until things could get better,” Theobald told Wired868. “Taking a step back may mean having no Pro League because it doesn’t make sense having a Pro League when you are asking players to be professional but you are not operating from a professional standpoint.”

Saying that you can’t call yourself professional “with a TT$3,000 salary,” he echoed an idea floated recently by St Ann’s Rangers’ boss Richard Fakoory.

“If that’s what you could afford, maybe we should revert to a Super League situation, where players go to their respective jobs and be able to train on an inconsistent basis and play matches based on that.”

When Wired868 floated TTSL President Keith Look Loy’s idea of a temporary merger of the Super League and the Pro League, all three players immediately pointed to the difficulties playing in a non-professional league would pose in terms of getting scouted and, therefore, getting foreign contracts.

But, Theobald cautioned, even if it were possible to move forward without taking what he considers to be the necessary backward steps, it would be unfair for the Pro League to think about doing so without honouring the debts owed to Central FC and North East Stars for their League-conquering exploits over the last two years.

It would be to start off, he said, “on the wrong professional foot.”

Marshall and Theobald suggested that, despite the unpaid debt and what has happened since the end of the season, North East Stars’ 2017 League triumph last season was a fulfilling victory in more ways than one. Both players saw it as having forged a close-knit unit, with players trying to help each other out by supplying basic food products. According to Theobald, he even dipped into his own pockets to try and maintain a “professional” outlook at the club.

“I tried to help with my experience of playing with the national team and playing football abroad [but] I have had to help out financially as well,” he said. “I was not even able to really share my knowledge and experience because most of the times players weren’t able to attend training on a consistent basis because of what was being offered to them.”

“Some players were making TT$1,200 and TT$1,500 per month and were asked to be professional with that. […] I could only feel the pain of a youngster who has aspirations of playing abroad and making his national team.

“I could only feel the pain because you’re talking about a player who has that desire to really be somebody. And not having the proper infrastructure or foundation for him to realise these dreams… It makes you feel as though you could forget about it, pack up and everything will be okay. But you can’t…”

Pointing out that, because he knows the financial constraints they are operating under, nowadays he does not seek excessive salaries from any club; he would be content, he said, with a salary in the TT$4,000 to TT$5,000 range. There is, however, a but: the former Caledonia standout insists that his teammates must be properly taken care of financially as well.

“If I’m at North East, Caledonia or Central FC, it overwhelms me to know that I could eat steak and my brother could barely have something to eat,” Theobald told Wired868. “[The club must] make sure and treat the [other] players right too. But some clubs definitely take advantage of that.”

But like a chain and its links, a league is only as strong as its weakest club. And although the Pro League “had a lot of money going around back in the day” when the Government subvention to clubs was TT$80,000 a month, the veterans agreed that the clubs have not really done very much to help the League.

“Before we reached in this scenario where we don’t know the direction of the Pro League and the direction of clubs because of the financial situation,” Theobald offered, “clubs were still in a better position financially. Some clubs were mismanaging their money. So where do you think all of this is trickling from?

“Some clubs are still mismanaging their money and it’s coming back to haunt them now because now everybody crying…”

JP concurred, saying that clubs were really living above their financial means.

“I think if clubs were properly structured in terms of payment of salaries,” he said, “something could work out. But I think teams are ending up in problems because they want to pay salaries with money which they don’t have.”

And why do the clubs have no money? The players blame over-reliance on the government subvention over the years. Because there has been easy money coming their way, neither the League nor clubs have made any serious attempt to develop and market the products that might have given them financial self-sufficiency.

Saying that self-sufficiency was “just a matter of using your product and marketing it the right way,” Marshall slammed the Pro League’s administration.

“The Government has been putting money into the League since its inception and you are telling me after 14 to 15 years, you don’t have a proper plan to be self-sufficient?” he asked Wired868 rhetorically. “That is madness! You’re supposed to have a five-year plan so every five years you will be discussing something different.

“But five years pass, the League hasn’t grown, ten years pass, the League hasn’t grown. And after 15 years, it’s the same thing?”

He suggested that the League and the individual clubs must do much better at promoting their players and promoting their product, including making the people within the surrounding communities aware of the proven homegrown talent as well as the rising stars who have emerged from the community itself.

“The onus is on the clubs to promote their players and ensure that the community knows about the player,” he said. “People will now be able to put a name to a face…”

And agreeing that the beautiful game really belongs to the community, the three players lamented that playing at the various national stadia has weakened the organic connection between players and supporters. They insisted that greater effort must be made by all football stakeholders to get community fields and facilities up to an acceptable standard because it is important to viability and financial success to have good playing surfaces and facilities.

“The stadia are good for the pitch and all that,” Marshall went on, “but sometimes the location of the stadium could be out of the way; some people are deterred from going because of that.”

On the issue of grounds, Theobald holds the view that the League would have been better off if the Government had given clubs full control over the community fields as opposed to giving them a monthly subvention. It’s a view dear to Caledonia co-founder Jamaal Shabazz.

“What I would have liked to see is the Government trying to offer clubs their own grounds, even if it meant building a small facility,” Theobald offered, “so a club could be self-sustainable with this kind of situation. You have San Juan Jabloteh, Caledonia and you have clubs from down South in Club Sando and W Connection.”

“Teach me how to fish and I won’t have to beg for fish all the days of my life,” Theobald continued, waxing philosophical. “Instead of the government giving clubs money in hand, they should have been showing the clubs how to fish.

“You give one community a ground for a club and you say that, instead of a subvention of TT$50,000, we are doing this for you and you have to bring in money to sustain your club.”

The players, he affirms, would prefer the intimacy of a community ground with enthusiastic fans cheering them on from close up rather than stepping out for a League encounter at any one of the national stadia to play in front of thousands of empty seats.

“From a player’s perspective, I love to play down in Mahaica Oval against Point Fortin Civic,” Theobald said, “because I know once Civic are doing well, Point Fortin people will come out in their numbers and support their hometown club.

“And that’s the atmosphere any player would like: to play in front of thousands of people. Any player would love that. That sends your adrenaline high; sometimes that gives you sleepless nights.”

So what advice do the veterans have to offer to those players, actual and potential, who may be having sleepless nights now that the Pro League seems under a cloud?

For JP, the really important thing is to “get yourself a good agent,” not some trickster looking to dig out your eye but one who will be able to set you up for a move abroad if the League remains at a standstill this season.

Marshall concurred and added an element of his own: a football scholarship.

“People don’t look at a scholarship as a professional contract but […] your schooling is US$40,000 a semester and you have two semesters for the year. As a professional footballer now coming out of Trinidad, you are not going to make that money anywhere.”

“And if you really push yourself,” he ended, “in two to three years’ time, you would have something to fall back on in the future as well.”

Theobald’s parting message for the young players echoed Barack Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’

“I was faced with all the negativity you could be faced with but I never let that affect me because I wanted to be somebody,” said Theobald. “I wanted to use my God-given ability and talent to help take me out of that. And they could do the same thing too. As much as we are faced with so much nonsense in Trinidad, at the end of the day, we have to know what we want out of the game too.”

As things stand, it probably is no exaggeration to say that what the current pros and the would-be pros want is one simple thing: that there be a Pro League in 2018.

Truth be told, the prospects do not look all that rosy.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2018, 06:49:18 AM »
Mismanagement, exploitation and repeat errors…but League can be saved!
By Roneil Walcott (Wired868).


Pro League players speak (Pt 2):

...

“Some players were making TT$1,200 and TT$1,500 per month and were asked to be professional with that. […] I could only feel the pain of a youngster who has aspirations of playing abroad and making his national team.

“I could only feel the pain because you’re talking about a player who has that desire to really be somebody. And not having the proper infrastructure or foundation for him to realise these dreams… It makes you feel as though you could forget about it, pack up and everything will be okay. But you can’t…”

Phillip objects to pros working full-time jobs.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


...

According to Phillip the $2,500- $3,000 wage idea is nothing new, as the League already carries a minimum salary of $2,500 a month. But he revealed that attempts are being made to introduce a salary cap of no more than $5,000, the most that can be paid to a player per month, which is similar to the North East Stars model.

"Of course we cannot tell clubs how much they can pay their players, but if the cap is implemented and clubs that paid players more than what is stipulated, then suddenly they can buckle under financial pressure and we (the league) will not be able to help those players," Phillip explained.

Members of the Board of the T&T Pro League which includes a member from each club along with Dexter Skeene, the Chief Executive Officer and Phillips, are set to meet next month to decide on a way forward.


Then the league needs to engage in enforcement. Policy is one thing, praxis is another.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 06:51:48 AM by asylumseeker »

Offline Tiresais

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2018, 02:44:37 PM »
Just shockingly poor long-term planning from the league and to some extent the clubs. $50,000 - get 500 fans a game to drop $100 on a ticket and there's a large way towards that (more than one game a month of course). Ultimately the league is being undone by the sheer lack of interest and attendance. As I said years ago it needs to move to community fields. Sure you won't get a fancy level playing ground, but you will have a sustainable model built on community interest not on government subsidies.

I understand the reasoning for a pro league in terms of FIFA and CONCACAF regulations, but what's the point of a perennially bankrupt league when a semi-pro league could give a bit of security and passion to players? The FA bankrupt, the League bankrupt, the Clubs bankrupt - what future does professional football in Trinidad and Tobago have under that?

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2018, 11:58:32 PM »
Look, the pro-league should join with super league and form a super-league 1 and a super-league2. Promotion and demotion. Unfortunately there is very little private interest in a ful-fledged pro-league at this time of austerity. Some may sponsor a team, but on a semi-pro basis. Unless DJW with his connections have a grand plan with unknown investors, what else is there. We can blame the govt, but they just bailed out Southern Games. The pro-league needs to realize the dire situation, cut their losses and move on.
:beermug:

Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2018, 04:23:51 AM »
Gov’t $$$ to rescue Pro League.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Government has come to the rescue of the T&T Pro League for the 2018/2019 season by agreeing to pump a handsome $6 million towards it, Guardian Media Sports was informed.

A reliable source close to government who agreed to speak to Guardian Media Sports on the condition of anonymity revealed yesterday that the Minister of Sports Darryl Smith took a Cabinet Note to Cabinet and it was expected to get government’s approval which will bail-out of the League which had been uncertain due to the tight economic squeeze being experienced.

The League which provides employment for over thousands of stakeholders in and around the fraternity, ranging from players, coaches, managers, groundsmen and vendors etc, will receive $2 million for the administration of the League, while each club will collect $50,000 to help cover cost for salaries.

The agreement is rather similar to the arrangement both parties had before, but the only difference is that government has agreed to help put the country’s top flight football competition back on stable footing over a three-year time frame following an agreement.

Yesterday, an attempt to reach the Minister Smith via cellphone calls and whatsapp message proved futile. Meanwhile, chairman of the Sport Company of T&T Dinanath Ramnarine said he was unaware of the Ministry of Sports efforts to fund the league.

However, the government official explained the bail-out came with strict demands that more had to be done to make the league self sustainable.

Contacted Fakoory said a release would be sent out to communicate the Board’s decisions from its last meeting, but was elated about government’s decision to provide funding as it would ensure that thousands of people would be able to look after their families.

The Board is scheduled to meet soon to implement a recommendation for two new committees (Marketing and Finance) to assist in the process of the League becoming sustainable.

It is also understood that the league will also adjudicate on a proposal for the start of the competition to be pushed back after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in June.

Only on Wednesday the Board agreed to appoint Julia Baptiste, the League’s general secretary to the position of acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while Richard Fakoory, the Deputy Chairman of the Board will perform the functions of the chairman following the resignation of Sam Phillip last week.

Baptiste will full the position of Dexter Skeene who also resigned on March 2, as CEO, saying the time had come for him to make that move.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2018, 09:07:43 AM »
The IADB on Wednesday approved a $300 million US line of credit to the GoTT, based on the volatility created in the domestic economy by the drop of energy prices in the international market. The $$$ is to be targeted to implementing structural reforms and to achieving fiscal stability that would/should insulate the economy from negative external influences.

Social programs are an area in which the IADB anticipates monies to be allocated. Just came to mind based on the repeated rationale expressed by TT Pro League stakeholders that the disappearance  of a pro league would present a significant socio-economic dislocator within the domestic economy.

Of course, one would partially have to buy into the untested idea that the TT Pro League per se constitutes a "social program".

I'm unconvinced that $6m does the trick, but say wha ...

While there is research on the impact of government subsidies on pro sports environments, our environment is nuanced and dysfunctional. I would bet against an orthodox approach being sustainable in, and of, itself.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 09:12:41 AM by asylumseeker »

Offline Deeks

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2018, 04:19:19 PM »
Anyway, the league got a life line. So DJW better work some magic to get somepeople with money on board. But I know the money people eh coming onboard until they have their own people or some kind of say in the running of the league. So when is election?

Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2018, 04:27:24 AM »
Pro League owners: We will survive! Owners deny Cabinet rescue report but bullish about chances
Wired868.com.


“Despite the departure [of chairman Sam Phillip and CEO Dexter Skeene], the Pro League Board remains committed to the survival of professional football.”

The following is a release from the Pro League Media on the durability of the top-flight competition. Despite a Trinidad Guardian report yesterday about an impending TT$6 million Cabinet rescue package, one Pro League owner told Wired868 they had no knowledge of any such initiative.

“Professional football in Trinidad and Tobago will continue!” This is the united view of club owners and Board members of the TT Pro League.

At a meeting on Wednesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium the Board extended its sincerest appreciation to outgoing Chairman, Joseph Sam Phillip, and long-standing CEO, Dexter Skeene.

However, despite the duo’s departure, the Pro League Board remains committed to the survival of professional football.

League Secretary Julia Baptiste, who has been an integral part of the operations of the League for the last 19 years, has been asked by the Board to serve as Interim CEO as plans continue to launch the 2018/19 season.

“As the Board looks forward to the upcoming season and beyond, restructuring and rebranding form key elements of both their short- and long- term plans,” said North East Stars co-owner Darryl Mahabir. “We want to get the football back on the field but it’s not just about starting the League; we are re-evaluating our entire financial and business model.

“As owners, we took the risk of investing in our nation’s youth and pioneering football as a stakeholder in the sporting industry. Collectively over the last 14 years, owners have invested over $50 million into the national economy.

“Now, despite the economic pinch, we still are looking for ways to move forward.”

Central FC’s CEO Brent Sancho feels that there has been a huge nexus between the Pro League’s existence and the national and club teams’ success regionally.

“T&T has qualified for four of five Concacaf [Hex competitions] in World Cup qualifying competitions since the Pro League was formed in 1999,” said Sancho. “Over the last few years, our clubs have represented the Caribbean in all but one Concacaf Champions League tournaments. And the one time we did not qualify for the Hex since the advent of the Pro League, we were knocked out by a Pro League coach.”

[The latter comment was in reference] to in Georgetown in 2011  when Caledonia AIA’s Jamaal Shabazz led Guyana to the semi-final round of World Cup Qualifiers with a 2-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

The League will meet with several current and prospective partners within the upcoming weeks, including a television channel.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Deeks

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2018, 06:08:10 AM »
Yeah right !

Offline maxg

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2018, 01:15:04 PM »
It's easy to organize air in a paperbag, but it's necessary to keep it's mouth open or you eventually can't breathe,if you're inside
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 11:48:53 PM by maxg »

Offline Deeks

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2018, 02:46:10 PM »
Collectively over the last 14 years, owners have invested over $50 million into the national economy.

Ok, you invested 50 mil, how much the govt invested?

Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2018, 01:52:22 AM »
Owners, board members vow to continue Pro League.
T&T Newsday Reports.


THE CLUB OWNERS and board members of the TT Pro League issued a media release on Friday, stressing the need for the continuation of professional football in T&T.

According to the media release, the board “extended its sincerest appreciation to outgoing chairman Joseph Sam Phillip and long-standing CEO Dexter Skeene.

“However, despite the duo’s departure, the Pro League Board remains committed to the survival of professional football.”

Julia Baptiste, the league’s secretary, will serve as interim CEO as plans continue to launch the 2018-19 season.

The media release ended, “The league will meet with several current and prospective partners within the (forthcoming) weeks, including a television channel.”

Skeene, in a recent interview, stressed, “For T&T to qualify for a world cup on a regular basis, we have to play professional football.”

Skeene, who will demit office on April 1, continued, “You have the choice of saying that you want semi-pro but understand that there are consequences to that. You will be less in a position to qualify for a world cup.

“To me it’s about ensuring that the young men in T&T have (an) opportunity to earn a living from playing football, especially with the state of the society, at-risk youths in the East-WestCorridor.

“The professional football is critical for providing an option for these youngsters and providing a pathway for the youngsters in the Youth League as well, to be able to know that they will have the opportunity to be a professional footballer,” Skeene ended.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2018, 01:39:36 AM »
Shabazz: "Morvant Caledonia AIA accept UEFA Challenge"
T&T Guardian Reports.


"Evolution or Revolution!"

This is the catch phrase thrown out to the TT Pro League club owners at yesterday's session at the UEFA/TT Pro League Seminar by UEFA moderator Kenny Macleod, a strategy and marketing specialist held at the Ato Bol;don Stadium in Couva.

In presenting his views on options open to the TT Pro League in terms of restructuring, rebranding and marketing, Macleod challenged the owners to be revolutionary in their battle to ensure the survival of professional football in T&T.

"You can wait for things to evolve or you can make radical changes to your approach and create marketing strategy that can put you on a pathway to sustainability,” Macleod insisted.

He explained that while each country has its own level of uniqueness, some of the problems faced by clubs in T&T are very similar to clubs in other parts of the world.

"There are key steps that must be taken in terms of staffing, fan creation and venue selection. This is not us trying to bring Europe to T&T, your issues are not as unique as you think,” Macleod said.

Morvant Caledonia AIA technical director Jamaal Shabazz is ready to accept the challenge thrown out by the visiting football personnel, among them head of International Relations UEFA National Association Division Eva Pasquier, legal specialist Efraim Barak, Macleod and Concacaf representative Howard MacIntosh.

"This UEFA/TT Pro League seminar has reaffirmed that we in Morvant Caledonia AIA need to acquire the grounds at Park Street in Morvant, cut across the red tape with the regional corporation and get the venue ready to play football,” he said afterwards.

"We have seen the social impact of football bringing communities together in Morvant and Laventille. Now the challenge is making the ground in Morvant a facility that could be the springboard for self-sufficiency.

"From that platform of having a home ground, we can create a fan base, then sell merchandise and become a viable entity.”

Shabazz revealed that they had initial talks with the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation and his club is now ready to present a proposal for the grounds.

"We have seen on the other side of the Caroni bridge where cooperation between the regional corporations and cricket clubs like Clarke Road and Preysal has borne fruit for the man called 'cricket'.

"These are precedents where similar arrangements in the east/west corridor can bear fruit for the man called 'football',” stated Shabazz.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Deeks

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2018, 11:26:11 AM »
"We have seen on the other side of the Caroni bridge where cooperation between the regional corporations and cricket clubs like Clarke Road and Preysal has borne fruit for the man called 'cricket'.

"These are precedents where similar arrangements in the east/west corridor can bear fruit for the man called 'football',” stated Shabazz.


Shabazz has a point here. Whether or not it will  work is left to be seen. Why this could not be applied to Aranguez is beyond me. The savannah is big enough to have a small stadium with enough room to spare for about 3 other playing fields for the general public. The same goes for Tacarigua. Enough space to have field for football. But then again ....... The place I would to see this happen is in the QPS. It should one specific for football, rugby, cricket and also hockey.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 11:28:17 AM by Deeks »

Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2018, 12:29:17 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/U67vaAegbZY&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/U67vaAegbZY&amp;feature=youtu.be</a>
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Offline Flex

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2018, 12:30:32 AM »
Pro League Impact is more than you imagine.
By Shaun Fuentes (Guardian).


It is a fact that football generally can open doors and reach out to people who need help most. So does the sport, moreso, the T&T Pro League have a responsibility to use this power in a positive way? And what is already being done to harness this unique appeal? These were the chief discussions held over three days last week as the TTFA hosted a Strategic Workshop with top officials from UEFA including the organisation’s head of international relations Eva Pesquier.

Sport can help get you out of miserable conditions too and let’s be honest, many complain these days about the miserable conditions in the country today, the world at large. As a child you don’t think about whether you are rich or poor, you just wanted to play. The T&T Pro League from senior football to the youth leagues allows an avenue for playing and aspiring to play at the highest level. You are on a level ground when you play football as a child – it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, if you’re good, you play.

One of the points agreed by all during the workshop that football clubs should formally recognise their social role and adopt it as one of their core purposes, honestly examine how well they are meeting that aim, and strive continually to improve their relationships with supporters, local authorities, residents and businesses.

Research done in England conducted via interviews with chief executives of 10 clubs, ranging from a Premier League club to much smaller, mutually-owned clubs in semi-professional football, and in-depth case studies all with agreed anonymity found a unanimous view that football clubs are institutions of social value.

Conducting a bit of my own limited research here, a view of some Supporters' was most striking. When I asked supporters what they would value about their team, it was not so much about their success on the field, or whether it was in profit or not, but their importance within their family, social and community life is what stood out. This is an area the Pro League definitely needs to tap into big time.

Given this popularity, footballers play a significant role in shaping society and the clubs can use this to their benefit. . It is proven that social projects undertaken by clubs and players can have a major positive impact on the lives of children, reducing the high risk of school drop out, criminality, drug addiction, and social exclusion.

The ingredients of the league and local football on a whole are excellent instruments for balancing education and development of personal values and skills at any age. As a team sport and a competitive activity,it also promotes teamwork habits and techniques, a culture of hard work, respect for opponents, management of success and failure, etc. This can consistently produce better citizens in society because with ten clubs at let’s say a thirty-player roster plus minimum ten staff, you are looking at four hundred plus individuals being affected. We haven’t counted the Super League clubs. Add to that close family members or friends who can benefit from the experience and humanity skills gained by their breadwinners and by now surely the numbers in society are impressive enough to have significant impact.

But with the demands combined with expectations, UEFA stressed that whether it be Government or Corporate support extended, there will be a level of accountability and value expected in return.

Resilient social change requires sincerity in understanding local needs and appreciation for what already exists and thrives in a community, and working within this framework towards locally owned solutions and results. The Pro League by all accounts, has indicated it is fully aware of this.

There are a range of ways in which clubs might commit to having a positive impact in their communities – and some of them are already practicing, but need to sustain them. The time for one offs is gone. do some of them already. They include developing local transport plans, supporter volunteering schemes with potential rewards or benefits, opening club facilities to disadvantaged groups, operating preferential local employment and taking the game to the fans who in turn can show at the venue and get more than 90 minutes of football. Make it something that will leave 'em wanting more. Time to get the ball rolling!

Video - Eva Pasquier, John-Williams delivers opening remarks at UEFA/TTFA Strategic Workshop

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2018, 01:38:28 AM »
UEFA/TTFA Workshop leaves T&T Pro League aiming higher.
TTFA Media.


The three-day UEFA Strategic Workshop staged by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association with emphasis on the the T&T Pro League ended last Friday.

There were closing views on the run of events coming from UEFA Head of International Relations Eva Pasquier, UEFA Marketing consultant Kenny MacLeod, League deputy chairman Richard Fakoory, W Connection CEO Renee John-Williams and North East Stars managing director Ryan Nunes.

UEFA’s input was based on their UEFA ASSIST programme.

The main scope of UEFA ASSIST is essentially to share knowledge and best practices to help UEFA’s sister confederations to develop and strengthen football within their respective territories. UEFA ASSIST is designed to provide practical rather than financial assistance and to offer support through development activities.

UEFA ASSIST is composed of four pillars, each providing specific support to member associations and confederations worldwide:

1) Education and knowledge sharing

2) Development of youth football

3) Support of infrastructure projects

4) UEFA national association support programmes

Videos -

UEFA/TTFA Strategic Workshop Wrap

W Connection CEO reacts to UEFA Strategic workshop

Eva Pasquier shares her final views at end of UEFA/TTFA Strategic Workshop

Eva Pasquier, John-Williams delivers opening remarks at UEFA/TTFA Strategic Workshop

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2018, 01:39:55 AM »
Pro League registration closes May 14.
T&T Guardian Reports.


 In immediate action steps after the UEFA/TT Pro League seminar, club owners of the league are meeting almost daily to iron out plans for the start of the 2018 season.

Chairman Richard Fakoory stated, "Having gotten clear guidelines and advice from UEFA, there are some short term steps we are working on before we announce a date to start the 2018 season."

Describing the current situation as an egg and spoon race, Fakoory, who is owner of St. Ann's Rangers, said, "Given what we have learnt, it cannot be business as usual and while we want to start as soon as possible, there are some critical steps that must be put in place before we start. Funding for league operations, club budgets, staffing are all engaging our attention at the moment. We want to move quickly but we do not want the egg to fall out of the spoon.”

Current league CEO Julia Baptiste revealed that owners are rising to the occasion given the challenges faced by the league.

"There is a very collective spirit in the boardroom. We have people from the board addressing sponsorship, governance, television, etc. Its’ a total team effort,” said Baptiste, who has been a mainstay in the Pro League from its inception.

"Of course there are challenges, but coming out of the UEFA meetings while we did not get a fish, we certainly have a better idea of how to fish. We are in close contact with the people at UEFA and bouncing off ideas and suggestions in our efforts to launch the new season,” she explained.

Pressed for a start time Baptiste told Guardian Media Sports: "Now, the office is focussing on registration and putting things in place. As soon as the I's are dotted and the T's crossed we would start."

Deadline for clubs in the Pro League to submit their registration and contracts is May 14.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2018, 01:38:58 AM »
Baptiste: Pro League can benefit from UEFA expertise.
T&T Guardian Reports.


T&T Pro League (PL) interim Chief Executive Officer, Julia Baptiste, stands confident a three-day UEFA ASSIST-Trinidad workshop hosted at the National Cycling Centre in Balmain, Couva, a week ago could see T&T football reap enormous benefits.

Baptiste however cautioned that this can only be possible if recommendations from UEFA are implemented by clubs and the PL’s administration.

“In this (UEFA ASSIST) scenario, board members were able to come together, and someone was able to say to them listen this is what you need to do, and with us in T&T it’s always where the information comes from that is important,” Baptiste said.

The UEFA ASSIST workshop, which ran from April 4-6 and was attended by club owners and administrators, was made possible through CONCACAF following a request by T&T Football Association (TTFA) president David-John Williams for assistance to the beleaguered T&T Pro League.

Eva Pasquier, head of international relations at UEFA, headed a team of UEFA ASSIST officials that included Kenny MacLeod, who specialises in commercial, media, digital marketing and match day knowledge, and Efraim Barak, a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Arbitrator and practicing lawyer in Sport Law for almost three decades, while CONCACAF was represented by Howard McIntosh.

“UEFA ASSIST was asked by CONCACAF to come here to discuss the Pro League particularly” said MacLeod.

“But what is very important to us is that we don’t just concentrate on the Pro League and that we look at football as a whole in T&T.

“And we have met with a number of stakeholders—clubs, boards and the media—to really get a full understanding of the situation of the football in the country.”

The UEFA ASSIST team recommended that clubs formalise youth development, engage key stakeholders such as the fans, media and government and that the PL updates its strategic plan. Clubs were also reminded of the importance and benefits of fulfilling compliance regulations of CONCACAF and the TTFA following discussions that included club licensing, good governance in the federation, the league and the clubs as well as marketing and communications.

Baptiste said the UEFA-ASSIST workshop helped cement a lot that was continuously said over the 16 years of the PL’s existence.

“Now there is a cohesion, people understand. And we hope that in the understanding we could now move forward as a league and see how we can [grow] the brand and take it to another level.

“There is now an understanding that football is not only about the game, it’s a business and how do we make the business of football work for us. That is what the board will now sit down and plan to see how we can go forward.”

MacLeod highlighted that T&T’s situation was not unique in the challenges faced financially and otherwise. And that the League and clubs should find innovative ways in realising their potential.

He said T&T is seen as aspirational within the region and “we (UEFA ASSIST) want to keep you in that place”.

MacLeod said, “What we have learned is that football is well-established here—the fact that there is already a professional league in place—and you have a number of situations where players aspired and gone on to play at the top leagues [around] the world.

“The base is here but what we are trying to understand is how to professionalise it and how to take it to the next level.

“We looked at both positives and the challenges just to make a point that there is a long way to go. We are trying to benchmark here.

“And we are not trying to say we are benchmarking against the best league in Europe, but through our experience we understand where football in T&T should be.”

MacLeod said over the three days focus was placed on planning and structures “but more than anything else”, putting the fans and the players at the centre of the strategy.

“(What) we really wanted to get across was that if the fans and players can be part of the future and build in the future then I think that would be much better for football (in T&T).”

Pasquier meanwhile called for all stakeholders involved in T&T football including the lower level leagues and schools leagues to sit together and discuss “clear responsibilities, clear roles, clear system of competitions and who is responsible for what”.

Pasquier echoed MacLeod’s sentiments that the PL and its clubs must focus on growing professionally and also told club owners and officials to put more importance on youth development through academies.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2018, 05:05:44 PM »
Nice to see the football fraternity now making an effort(hopefully) to adhere to best business practice. But where is the money? Is it passing under the table. Did they get the subventions from the government.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2018, 03:15:26 AM »
Sancho: Government killing the T&T Pro League.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


On the heels of a disappointing showing last Tuesday by the Soca Warriors squad against Panama, former Minister of Sport Brent Sancho has lashed out over the current state of T&T football.

“During my time as a national player up until now, a fundamental theme for success in local football has been government interest, support and buy-in.

“Unfortunately, the current administration has offered none of these things, to the detriment of local football at the youth, semi-pro and professional levels. Government’s support for youth and community football leagues across the country is at an all-time low, at a time where crime is at an all-time high.

“Coincidence? I think not. With no initiatives to stimulate sport and youth activity in troubled communities, what do you expect?”

Sancho, a former national defender who played in he 2006 World Cup finals, echoed the concern of national coach, Dennis Lawrence, that the uncertainty over the future of the Pro League may have troubling repercussions for national teams.

He said, “The Pro League is literally on the verge of collapse with millions worth of prize money and promised subventions still being owed to clubs by the government. We have been given no assurances of whether these obligations will be paid. All the while the Ministry is rife with sexual scandals and abuse of power while local football is on life support.”

Although a lack of funds has been cited by the Ministry as the reason for the decrease in financial support, Sancho, a former Minister of Sports rubbished this claim, saying: “It’s not that funds are scarce, they are just being misappropriated. Could you imagine that the Pro League is on the verge of financial collapse, yet the Ministry is building a $150 million stadium in Diego Martin. For whom? If there is no league then what is the point?”

Sancho, the owner of Central FC, a three-time championship winning club of the T&T Pro League, pointed out that professional football as an industry that employs over 300 people directly and hundreds more indirectly. No government should stand by and watch hundreds of people, most of which come from troubled communities, lose their livelihood. We have seen our national coach frustrated by having to select players who haven’t played a competitive game for over four months and are not even training full time. If the Pro League collapses we can basically kiss our chances of future World Cup qualification goodbye.”

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2018, 02:37:16 PM »
Will the league be suspended during the WC?

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2018, 06:32:56 PM »
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2018, 06:58:36 PM »
Will the league be suspended during the WC?

How does that work anyway? MLS is only taking a 9-day break, and USL is not stopping. However, Ghana, had to get clearance from FIFA to allow their leagues to continue during the World Cup.
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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2018, 09:20:06 PM »
The MLS eh suspending. So why should they suspend the league. TT not playing in the WC.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2018, 12:51:00 PM »
Will the league be suspended during the WC?

How does that work anyway? MLS is only taking a 9-day break, and USL is not stopping. However, Ghana, had to get clearance from FIFA to allow their leagues to continue during the World Cup.

I think FIFA's response to Ghana was part policy statement and part pragmatic because I doubt that Ghana Premier League clubs really have any players from other World Cup-bound CAF countries on their rosters. Certainly unlikely from countries from other confederations.

I think the real "sweet spot" in the decision is that this year, teams will end confederation wide competition in November and then in a TT Pro League-esque move have to start playing again in December because next year African teams will switch to the European calendar. So suspending the league was going to present structural problems.

MLS' suspension lasts the duration of the group stage of the WC. So if MLS teams have foreign players on WC teams, everyone is supposedly in the same boat during the group stage. After that ... some players will return to their clubs.

I suppose it's another example of how MLS works in tandem with US Soccer and by extension FIFA in fostering self-interested positions.

If the TT Pro League had to stop less than two weeks after having started, that would be frustrating.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2018, 12:53:24 PM »
The MLS eh suspending. So why should they suspend the league. TT not playing in the WC.

And no one from the Pro league will be representing a Russia participant.

Ghana will be watching from home. So too the US. Kinda ironic given the battles between both on WC stages past.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #57 on: April 27, 2018, 01:43:03 AM »
Pro League pulls away from Sancho’s comments.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Richard Fakoory, chairman of the T&T Pro League, is distancing the league from comments made by Central FC owner Brent Sancho earlier this week, that the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs was killing the league and sports in general.

According to Fakoory the statement made by Sancho, who was Minister of Sports under the People’s Partnership government, was done so in his private capacity. Despite being uncertain about whether government will intervene to assist the cash-strapped Pro League, Fakoory said: “The T&T Pro League is a professional league with no political affiliation and as such will continue to try and improve football in T&T.

The T&T Pro League would have been assisted by respective governments and as such would like to make it pellucidly clear that we will continue to partner with governments in the best interest of football in T&T.”

Fakoory, who is also owner and managing director of St Ann’s Rangers, told Guardian Media Sports: “The League has always had a harmonious relationship with all previous governments and will continue to endeavour to do so.”

He noted, “The league will commence with or without assistance from the government and will continue to work on aligning its strategic objectives with its existing mandate of creating a foundation that would help stimulate national interest throughout our communities once again, increase trust and loyalty, improve the League professionally and help in building a strong national team.”

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #58 on: April 27, 2018, 06:45:31 AM »
Sensible comment by Fakoory.

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Re: 2018 T&T Pro League Thread
« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2018, 12:45:39 AM »
Pro clubs get 11 million reasons to rejoice.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


The League kicks-off June 1

Government's $11 million bailout of the T&T Pro League has led to joy for many of the clubs, but tears for others, particularly at the administration of the sport.

In the Senate on Thursday new Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe announced that Cabinet had approved $11.1 million for

the cash-strapped T&T Pro League which up to that day, was unsure of when the League was going to start. The monies, it is understood, will be for eight of the ten clubs for the next three years.

Yesterday, the League's administration was left penniless and could find itself in a bind due to huge costs for expenses.

Back on March 16 Guardian Media Sports broke the news with the headline "Gov’t $$$ to rescue Pro League" - after we were reliably informed that Government will pump $6 million to help the T&T Pro League for the 2018/2019 season after former Minister of Sports Darryl Smith took a Note to Cabinet and it was expected to get government’s approval in an effort to bail-out of the League which is experiencing severe financial difficulties.

Chairman of the Pro League Board Richard Fakoory and new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julia Baptiste did not respond to our questions, but said that the league is expected to meet with minister Cudjoe and other officials of the ministry of sports, and at that time they will know what monies will be available to the League, if any.

Yesterday, Minister Cudjoe via a whats App message confirmed for Guardian Media Sports that the monies given are for eight clubs only, which means the League will still be on the hunt for additional cash to cover its expenses.

Over the years, Police and Defence Force teams are not funded through the arrangement.

A source at the embattled pro league who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity said it costs in excess of $1 million to run the league, taking into consideration huge costs to pay referees, salaries for staff, lights, travel, phone and many other overhead expenses.

The League is set for kick-off on June 1, but will only know the number of teams taking part, at the next meeting of the Board on Tuesday. Central FC owner and managing director Brent Sancho said his team still has to decide if they will be playing this year.

In the past, the governments through the Ministry of Sports and the Sport Company of T&T gave each club grants of $50,000 per month to help off-set specific cost items like salaries during the season.

RELATED NEWS

Pro League stakeholders grateful for Govt $upport.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).


Good sense has prevailed

THE entire Pro League breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday afternoon after Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe revealed in Senate that Cabinet had approved $11 million to assist their operations. The 2018 season, which is set to kick off on June 1, will benefit from a $4.8 million injection – a tremendous boost to the cash-strapped local league struggling to stay afloat.

The league has been hit badly by a litany of financial woes which has seen prize monies unpaid, the exits of the league CEO Dexter Skeene and Chairman Sam Phillip, and the current champions North East Stars implementing a wage ceiling of $2,500 per month for all players.

For the immediate future, though, their problems have been addressed, with Government subventions going a long way towards paying salaries for all clubs.

Former national captain Jan-Michael Williams and Club Sando coach Angus Eve, were elated to hear the Government will be giving over $11 million to the TT Pro League, saying it will give young players an opportunity to pursue their careers. Williams, who has played for over 10 years in the Pro League club and won several titles with Central FC and W Connection, was happy to hear the news. Williams, one of the top goalkeepers locally, said a lot of people depend on the league.

“I think it is a situation where good sense and good governance prevailed, because you have a model that employs over 300 or 400 people directly and indirectly probably close to 1000 or 2000 people,” he said.

Williams, who recently ended a stint abroad in Honduras, said the league plays a key part in helping young people stay away from a life of crime.

“The people directly involved in the Professional League are young people between the ages of 16 and 30. It made a lot of sense, and you are seeing in recent times where players who were, or are involved in the Pro League, involved in some sort of crime one way or the other,” Williams said.

He noted a lot of players in the Pro League are counting on the league for survival, as they may not be academically inclined or know a trade. “A lot of these players don’t have four or five subjects — they don’t have degrees, they don’t have trade qualifications. So they will literally have to go and do manual hard labour and it is something that a lot of people do, but it is not something a professional footballer should be doing. If you are a professional player doing manual hard labour...you will struggle (playing professional football).”

Other than the help from the Government, Williams is hoping corporate T&T would come forward and give more support to the local league. Eve, a former national midfielder and current Pro League coach, praised the Government for the support but is also calling on others to come on board.

“For a small country, we are blessed with a lot of natural talent and we need the funding, not just from Government. I applaud the Government for coming on board, however, I think the private sector must play a part, also corporate T&T, (I ask) them to come in and support a venture which keeps young people off the streets,” Eve said.

Also an ex-national skipper, Eve said footballers in the TT Pro League are depending on it to make a living. “God has blessed all of us with an ability. Some people went to the route of their schooling and they have their education, not everybody is going to be a doctor,” he said.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.