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Pro League, Super League merger?

For the first time in lo­cal foot­ball, mon­ey will not be a prob­lem, but it's un­sure what the struc­ture of the coun­try's top two Leagues will be like.

A tri­par­tite com­mit­tee com­pris­ing Ju­lia Bap­tiste, the T&T Pro League rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Kei­th Look Loy (T&T Su­per League) and Richard Piper, who rep­re­sents the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion was cho­sen on Jan­u­ary 28, to chart the way for­ward for the two leagues based on a pro­pos­al from UE­FA and CON­CA­CAF teams last week.

The com­mit­tee met for the first time on Thurs­day last at the T&T Olympic House in Port-of-Spain and its first as­sign­ment was to de­cide on whether a sug­ges­tion by the foot­ball bod­ies (UE­FA/CON­CA­CAF) to have one man­age­ment team, un­der the gov­er­nance of the par­ent TTFA, to run the af­fairs of the coun­try's tier one and two com­pe­ti­tions was fea­si­ble.

The com­mit­tee is ex­pect­ed to sub­mit a team that com­pris­es a mar­ket­ing team, com­pe­ti­tions com­mit­tee and a sec­re­tary to man­age both tour­na­ments, which is be­lieved will help in en­sur­ing the pro­mo­tion and de­mo­tion of teams, as rec­om­mend­ed.

Yes­ter­day Bap­tiste said her team went through the pro­pos­als by the UE­FA/CON­CA­CAF, and a de­ci­sion will on­ly be reached af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with their re­spec­tive mem­bers. Guardian Me­dia Sports was in­formed by a re­li­able source that the one man­age­ment team for both leagues is set to be shut down, as both the TTSL and TT Pro League want to main­tain its iden­ti­ties and run its own com­pe­ti­tions.

An­oth­er main con­tention is de­ter­min­ing the com­po­si­tion of the do­mes­tic leagues. The UE­FA/CON­CA­CAF sug­ges­tion is to have 10 teams in a tier one tour­na­ment and 12 in tier two. But this would mean omit­ting more than half the TTSL teams, which is a cause of con­cern among clubs.

Bap­tiste said if there is a sug­ges­tion for more clubs to the com­pe­ti­tions, then it will mean less mon­ey for par­tic­i­pat­ing teams as they have to share all monies giv­en equal­ly.

The on­ly thing the Leagues (T&T Pro League and T&T Su­per League) mem­bers are sure about is that the mon­ey to run the tour­na­ments is guar­an­teed.

It is un­der­stood the gov­ern­ment has al­ready agreed to ho­n­our UE­FA/CON­CA­CAF's pro­pos­al of a US$1 mil­lion amount to put foot­ball on sta­ble foot­ing, by com­mit­ting $3.8 mil­lion to the cause. The rest is to be re­ceived by the FI­FA For­ward Pro­gramme which will come through the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion.

The com­mit­tee is set to meet for a sec­ond time on Feb­ru­ary 8.

Mean­while, the TTSL held its An­nu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing (AGM) at the Queen's Park Oval yes­ter­day to dis­cuss the 2018 sea­son, and plans for 2019. Some ideas for the com­ing sea­son had to put on hold un­til all stake­hold­ers agree on a way for­ward.

Guardian Me­dia Sports was in­formed that clubs, dis­grun­tled by the man­age­ment of its pres­i­dent Look Loy, are await­ing a date of an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Gen­er­al Meet­ing to re­move him. A few days ago some clubs signed a pe­ti­tion and wrote to the TTSL sec­re­tari­at ask­ing for a meet­ing to re­move Look Loy as their rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Board of the TTFA, as they be­lieve he has not been rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of the League.