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Pro League kicks off Oct 4.
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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."

RELATED NEWS

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.”