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Offline Flex

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Pro clubs must take charge.
« on: February 02, 2010, 04:48:15 AM »
Pro clubs must take charge.
By: Brian Lewis (T&T Guardian).

Recently there have been intense discussions regarding the viability of the TT Pro League. Different perspectives, valid concerns and points of view have been voiced.

There are those who believe that while there is room for semi-professional football, professional football is not practical. The catalyst for the debate is the decision by Petrotrin to withdraw from the TT Pro League. Is the TT Pro League responsible for the sate of affairs of professional football?

Or is the league responsible for administering effectively and cost efficiently the running of the pro league and its various competitions, rules and regulations. My view is that the onus is on the clubs to effect strategy and plans to ensure their respective futures.

There are things the league can and should do to build capacity within the clubs. But it is up to the clubs.

How many of them have a business plan as a planning document that reaches out to supporters, players, sponsors and potential sponsors, community groups, schools, media and other stakeholders?

A document that moves a club from a group of people who share a common passion into a structured efficient organisation.

The value of a business plan is that it will ensures that the club’s board thinks researches and operates in a structured and systematic way about the business side of football and show stakeholders that the club is planning for the long term future and success.

The process of planning will help the club think things through, research thoroughly the facts, weigh risks, look at ideas critically and change minds if there is a better option that is in the best interest of the club.

A well researched plan helps avoid costly mistakes and forces the club’s senior management and directors to appreciate the difference between operational and strategic issues.

The business plan must outline how the club will engage the community and create opportunities for ongoing interaction. How it plans to increase revenues and to widen the scope of the commercial activity for the club. What are the on the field aims and objectives.

From a communication and marketing perspective it will articulate how the club will increase the awareness of the club in its community and nationally. Answer questions such as; why the club takes its responsibilities seriously. What are its governance and administrative policies?

How it elects its board of directors or executive committee.

Is it membership based or investor based? What are the club policies, processes and controls that guide decision making and behaviour?

Are processes in place to ensure off and on the field performance targets are achieved and evaluated? What is the club doing to provide a safe and secure experience on game days for supporters and fans.

It will outline how the club plans to operate in an efficient and cost effective manner and ensure that the club is in facilities that benefit the wider community. It will express how the club will create and maintain a framework for responsible and prudent financial management.

A structured business plan will force a look further into the future and consider long term needs as well as immediate needs and ask questions such as; how do we expand our fan base? What income do we need to sustain ourselves at a higher level of performance? What level of revenue and investments will be needed?

A professional football club can have volunteer directors and be not for profit. It is the footballers, coaches and support staff that are full time paid professionals.

But in any event professionalism is not, just, about getting paid; it is an attitude and commitment to excellence.

The TT Pro League has made steady progress and the building blocks for a successful future are there. It is now up to the current professional football clubs to seize the day.

Professional football is not only about playing football, it also requires paying attention to the business of football. And any club calling itself a professional football club must accept full responsibility for its destiny.
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.


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Re: Pro clubs must take charge.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 06:59:00 AM »
Totall Agree. I don't think that the League nor the clubs operate with any business plan in place. The evidence is shown by the lack of marketing for the league. I do think it is possible for there to be Professional Football in Trinidad but there has to be a sound plan in place for it to work. Like all the other leagues in the world history will show that it will take many years before the league will be self sufficient so there needs to be a long term financial plan in place to address. It is my belief that the league needs to operate somewhat like the MLS did when it started. Though the teams in Trinidad are all independently owned there needs to be a joint plan in place for Marketing and Advertising to spread the cost for all to benefit.

If only we as Trinidadians would live by our moto we can be so successful at anything.


Offline Bally

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Re: Pro clubs must take charge.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 12:29:47 PM »
I have been saying this for years
Empty barrels make the most noise

Offline Deeks

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Re: Pro clubs must take charge.
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 03:42:34 PM »
 I agree with the prevailing sentiment that the clubs must take charge and they need to present a more effective business plan. But business plans or not,  both league and clubs need a massive infusion of money.  Where and when are they getting that?  There are people with money in TT, but they don't want to invest with a current team in the league( It would have been nice if Mau Pa could have sponsored Rangers). They want to form a team from scratch in their own image and likeness. That is fine. But these team can't even draw a Sunday morning crowd at their games.

Offline dc68

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Re: Pro clubs must take charge.
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 11:51:36 AM »
Being a collector of soccer club shirts I have had the privilege of meeting and contacting many players, coaches, managers, and owners of teams from all over the world (from Jamaica to Canada to Ireland to Finland to Moldova). It has been my understanding from these smaller clubs that the single biggest issue for them is of course the lack of funds to remain a viable professional team.
I am certainly no expert in this matter but I will give my humble opinion based on what some of them have done and found some success. Maybe some could be implemented in the DPL of Trinidad

1. Televised games. Just wondering if the Digicel Pro League is televised (live or delay) in Trinidad. This may be the single most important element for Skeene and company to secure. Even if the games are delayed would be better than nothing at all. Even in Jamaica their pro league games are televised live. DPL must find ways to get companies to sponsor televised games (even if it means their commercials flashing on the screen during the games and giving these companies your allegiance to their products as well)
2. Club standards. Club websites have to be a must and must be updated with the latest information, schedule, ticket specials, mass communication with the public. Keep supporters informed. Have team merchandise available. I have had more success getting shirts from Jamaica, St Lucia, and Antigua than from Trinidad over the years. This reflects the clubs professionalism and the public reacts to this.
3. Highlight player/heroes. The public is always looking for a hero. Highlight your best players. Get those players on the news (it's free), let people become aware of these hidden "gems", have those players visit local communities and create an image, get those players on commercials (tell compaanies "you help us we help you too"), if you create a "hype" people would at least be curious about what's going on. Teams should be at their local schools and promote their team and give away tickets on a regular basis. Get kids to bring parents. You'll have a much better chance of them coming back as a family.
4. Multiple sponsorship. This is quite common in smaller markets like Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden etc. If you have multiple sponsorship deals then you are less dependant on a single company year after year. You can do primary sponsorships for the front of shirt and then secondary deals for others parts of shirts, billboards at the gorunds etc. Teams can become creative by advertising for those companies on TV, radio, and special functions etc. 
5. Like many on here have said "community based teams" are what DPL really needs. This is so true! Establish a team in a specific town and then you might have a chance of that town supporting it's team! Then get to work in your communities and with your community (businesses, schools, key leaders, etc).
6. Make the games safe (have security and advertise that it will be safe), affordable (occassional giveaways), community based (have local schools write team chants/songs, invite key local business leaders one week, local celebrities another, etc), and drum up some excitement at the games

Not a scientific analysis of the state of Trinidad football. Nor is it meant to be an exhausive solution to all the problems of the DPL. But my humble opinion to get started in the right direction in terms of "making it the people's game once again!"

Offline Deeks

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Re: Pro clubs must take charge.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 09:59:58 AM »
Taken from the BBC. This African club means business.

TP Mazembe unveils $10m budget 
Mazembe have strengthened their squad ahead of the 2010 season
Reigning African Champions League winners TP Mazembe, have unveiled a 10 million dollar budget for the 2010 season.

According to the club's website the amount was decided at the club assembly in January

Club President, Moise Katumbi also recently announced that he had released 2 million dollars for the construction of a club stadium in Lubumbashi.

According to Katumbi the club is now a lucrative company.

60 % of TP Mazembe Company shares are held by Katumbi, who is also Governor of the DR Congo's mineral-rich south-east province of Katanga.

10 % are held by a mining company, while the remaining 30 % shares will be allotted to club members and fans.

Mazembe won the African Champions League with a victory over Nigeria's Heartland FC in November last year.

They went on to represent Africa in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi in December.

TP Mazembe is set to become the first club in the DR Congo have its own stadium.

Meanwhile, coach, Diego Garzito says his squad is ready for the clash with Stade Malien for the Africa Super League Cup at home in Lubumbashi on February 21.

"[We've just signed] four players from Zambia and another four from Zimbabwe into the squad," Garzito said.

"It's good news for us because [they] will strengthen our defence which has been weak for many years.

"We are already preparing to face Stade Malien, so we will travel to Harare next week to finalise our plans."

The club have also hired Italian coach Stephano Maccopi as Assistant Coach.

Maccopi was coach of Swiss side La Chaux-de-Fonds until he joined TP Mazembe last month.



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