Sat, Aug

Lawrence calls on corporate T&T to support Pro League.

Take advantage of tax returns

National football coach Dennis Lawrence is appealing to corporate T&T to support the T&T Pro League, which faces an uncertain future.

The Pro League is scheduled to start next month but clubs are not involved in customary pre-season preparation since government’s decision to pull the plug on funding given to individual clubs to pay salaries, and additional monies to the League’s management team.

Lawrence who selected a 17-man team to play in two international friendly matches against Guadeloupe and Martinique later this month, is already feeling the effects of an unsponsored Pro League, having to choose players who were training on their own, and not with their Pro League teams.

He told the media his team is already at a disadvantage going into the friendlies, as a country’s team is as strong as the League it represents.

But of more concern for Lawrence however is the reluctance by corporate citizens to fund T&T football in the face of attractive returns through tax (tax rebates) to the tune of 150 per cent, and a worsening crime situation that is claiming the lives of the nation’s youth.

Quizzed on the reasons why companies should support sports and the Pro League, he said “as a form of rescue for the nation’s youth”.

Lawrence believes an investment in sports is also a step toward preserving the the nation, saying he is willing to make himself available to assist the T&T Pro League with its marketing, if it wishes.

“Even if it means going out and talking to the companies for myself, I will do it,” Lawrence said.

According to the former national defender, now turn coach, corporate citizens are in a must-win situation as they stand to get back every cent they put out while helping to shape a better, safer nation.

Lawrence’s sentiments were also echoed by his colleague, another former national defender Marvin Andrews, who is here for the wedding of his close friend Jason Scotland, a former national striker.

According to Andrews, funds were needed to rescue the situation the country’s top flight football league has found itself in and “it is important for corporate to put their money where their mouth is”.

In the meantime, the League continues to wait on a response from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs on its proposal for financial assistance for this season.