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.