A new new Football League pre-season is set to kick off July 12 and will cater for all the teams in the T-League which comprises 24 teams.
Yesterday Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed the pre-season tourney will be sponsored by a foreign company which supplies sports clothing, gear and other equipment.
The investors are expected to pump a substantial amount of money towards the competition, Guardian Media Sports was told that the league system will be played in a round-robin format in the different tiers.
The 10 teams from the Tier 1- W Connection, the 2018 League winners, North East Stars, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, Police, Central FC, Point Fortin Civic, Club Sando, Defence Force, Morvant Caledonia United and San Juan Jabloteh are all scheduled to begin battle in the each-team-plays-each team competition, for a winning prize of $250, 000, and much needed practice ahead of the coming season which begins in September.
The second placed team in tier 1 will take home a handsome $150, 000 while the third place team will walk away with $75, 000. However, league organisers are still trying to arrange a prize structure for tier 2 of the League, that will feature action among 14 teams- FC Santa Rosa, Queen's Park FC, Prisons FC, Cunupia FC, Guaya United, Police FC, Matura Re-United, the University of T&T (UTT), RSSR Football Academy, San Fernando Giants, Petit Valley/Diego Martin United, Bethel United, Club Sando and Erin FC.
The official launch of the league is set to take place on a date to be announced next week, but one organiser who spoke on conditions of anonymity said the league is awaiting written approval from the parent T&T Football Association which is being headed by David John-Williams.
"We have received verbal approval, but we are awaiting approval in writing before the fixtures can be drawn up. The tournament is being held specifically for the purpose of preparing teams for the coming season so it will be completed in time in September," explained the official who is closed to the latest developments.
Meanwhile, an official release from the seven-man Commission formed to guide the new T-League has confirmed the teams for 2019 season. Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that a third-tier competition is being lobbied for by the T&T Super League clubs that did not play in the 2018 season after they were deemed non-compliant or could not pay the required registration fee.
It understood the clubs are reluctant to return to Regional Association football (Northern FA, Souther FA, Eastern Counties Football Union, Central FA, Eastern FA and the Tobago Football Association.
New T-League to start in Late August.
A total of 24 teams have been confirmed to participate in the T-League, which is a merger of the Pro League and the TT Super League.The T-League, which brings all clubs under one umbrella, is expected to kick-off in late August to early September and will come as a relief to many locally-based footballers who have been out of match-form since both leagues ended in December last year.
“The people who have been entrusted have been working overtime. The chairman of the commission, Mr Lindsay Gillette, really pushed that this come to fruition. There is a lot of infighting in football but this is something which all the clubs agreed with – which is something ain’t happen in a long while. The same characters that you hear (disagreeing) – the Keith Look Loys, the David John Williams – everybody worked together, and it shows that within all that’s happening people want to see the betterment of the sport,” said Brent Sancho who worked with the Commission of the new League.
The top tier (T1) will feature the ten Pro League clubs – W Connection, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, Police, North East Stars, Central FC, Point Fortin Civic, Club Sando, Defence Force, Morvant Caledonia United and San Juan Jabloteh.Tier two (T2) will involve 14 clubs from the Super League – FC Santa Rosa, Queen’s Park, Prisons FC, Cunupia FC, Guaya United, Police, Matura Reunited, UTT, RSSR, San Fernando Giants, Petit Valley/Diego Martin United, Bethel United, Club Sando and Erin FC.In 2019 and 2020, one team will be promoted from Tier 2 to Tier 1, which will result in a 12-team T1 by 2021. “Meantime, normal promotion and relegation between T2 and the rest of local club football will continue in 2019,” the media release noted.
According to a tripartite memorandum of agreement (for the period of three years), between the TTFA (TT Football Association), Pro League and TT Super League, the T-League will have a league commission comprising no more than seven members – two apiece from the Pro League and Super League, two independent representatives and a TTFA representative.The competition will be organised and managed by the TTFA in conjunction with the league commission, while the TTFA will provide funding for the competition for the duration of the memorandum of agreement in an amount agreed upon and approved by the TTFA.The Pro League clubs have agreed to pledge their Government subvention monies towards the budget for the next three seasons.
Chairman of the Commission Lindsay Gillette spoke more on the new League at a press conference on Tuesday. See videos below for his statements
TTFA Press Conference - The T-League - New League Commission
Part 2 of T-League Commission Press Conference hosted by TTFA
Gillette praises TTFA Home of Football hotel - "It's Incredible"