The Board of the T&T Pro League confirmed at a meeting yesterday, that there will be a 2019/2020 football season, and 12 clubs, inclusive of Club Sando, which initially supported an extension of the Ascension Invitational Football League, has agreed to play.
Following an exclusive Guardian report of a $3 million sponsorship deal in Wednesday's newspapers, the pro league, club officials and administrators immediately began putting things in place for a scheduled October 4 start.
The newly rebranded Pro League will feature 12 teams instead of 10, as Cunupia FC and another team, still to be confirmed, have been added to the roster.
Following a lengthy meeting at the Home of Football in Balmain Couva, a statement issued by the Board of the ProLeague with the headline 'Pro League Clubs Agree to Continue Professional League' stated: "Professional football will play and have a 2019/20 season. As a board, we feel while all the forms of football are important, the professional league is vital towards the overall social and sporting development of T&T. The Board feels that players, coaches and administrators should continue working as paid professionals and we have an obligation to provide fans with a high-level football."
It added, "All 10 professional clubs including Club Sando have agreed to play in the 2019/20 season and two other clubs have shown interest in joining. We remain members of the T&TFA formed Commission and while we await the outcome of the future of the Commission, we will proceed to organize the T&T Pro League."
The release continued: "Concerning funding, we are exploring the use of promised Government funds as well as interests shown by entities in the private sector. Over the last 18 years, clubs, owners and sponsors have collectively invested over 25 million dollars, in addition to government's subventions into the Pro League by successive Governments of T&T. Forward ever."
Pro League set to resume.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).
Look Loy furious over no Super League as…
THE TT Pro League will be back in full swing with a 2019-2020 season, while there may be no Super League season, to the consternation of Super League president Keith Look Loy.
The Pro League board held an emergency board meeting yesterday morning and agreed that “professional football will play.”
According to a media release issued by the Pro League last evening, “We feel while all the forms of football are important, the professional league is vital towards the overall social and sporting development of Trinidad and Tobago.
“The Board feels that players, coaches and administrators should continue working as paid professionals and we have an obligation to provide fans with high level football,” the media release continued. “All ten professional clubs, including Club Sando, have agreed to play in the 2019-2020 season and two other clubs have shown interest in joining.”
This news comes a couple days after Richard Ferguson, director at Terminix La Horquetta Rangers and the brainchild of the Ascension Invitational Football Tournament (which will end in late September), agreed to continue the inaugural competition, if no league or TTFA (TT Football Association)-sanctioned tournament was taking place.
In fact, at least 14 Super League clubs issued a letter to the TTFA general secretary Camara David on Sunday, calling for a second round of the Ascension Tournament, if the T-League (combination of Pro League and Super League) remained in limbo.
With no confirmation about the proposed T-League, the Pro League media release noted, “We will proceed to organise (the forthcoming season).
“With regard to funding, we are exploring use of promised Government funds as well as interest shown by entities in the private sector,” the release continued. “Over the last 18 years clubs, owners and sponsors have collectively invested over $25 million, in addition to subventions injected into the Pro League by successive Governments.”
Member of the T-League commission and interim Pro League chairman Brent Sancho, in a Whatsapp message last evening, said, “We are hoping the T League does come on stream but we also have to put things in place for football to be played.”
Regarding the Pro League, the Central FC owner noted, “The owners are committed, despite challenges, to play professional football and October 4th has always been the date we have circled.”
Look Loy, who is also a TTFA director and owner of FC Santa Rosa, commented via Whatsapp, “(The Super League) have shown our commitment to one league united by promotion and relegation. It is the Pro League clubs that have unilaterally withdrawn from the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) that was signed by the two leagues and the TTFA.
“And then we were insulted by statements to the effect that we don’t know how to raise money and how to run our clubs,” he continued. “As if (the) members of (the Pro) League can’t begin this year unless they receive (the) said money.”
And Look Loy has blamed the TTFA, led by David John-Williams, for this turn of events.
“Let not the fact that John-Williams and his band are (involved in) this and responsible for undermining (the) Super League 2019 season.”