CLUBS IN the TT Pro League are likely to be in immediate financial trouble as there is the possibility that the monthly subventions from the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) will be reduced.
Recently-appointed SPORTT chairman Michael Phillips, in a telephone interview yesterday, revealed, “right now there has been no agreement in place, for that payment to be facilitated. That is the problem.” Asked if, in the case of no agreement, that things has stopped for now, Phillips replied, “it is something that was being addressed.” He admitted, “in the past it (was) the Sports Company that dealt with those payments of the subventions.” But it seems likely that the subventions will now fall under the purview on the Ministry of Sport.
Questioned whether the subventions are likely to be slashed from the $83,000 per month, the former national cyclist stated, “the information with regards to the quantum of support — all of those things are to be made public, all of those things were being sorted out.” Newsday understands that reducing the $830,000 monthly payment for the 10 Pro league clubs is being mulled.
Brent Sancho, managing director of Bankers Insurance Central FC, in an interview last evening, said, “it’s something that will have to take place, discussions will have to take place first of all before we go down that road. To reduce something like that now I think it’s absolutely ludicrous.
I agree in having some sort of discussion as to the way forward, whether it is reducing or whether it is finding other ways of assisting the clubs earning a revenue stream. It’s not just as simple as reducing a subvention, you have to look at the holistic picture, as it relates to football in this country.
The survival of Pro League clubs, the clubs are the ones that drives and has pushed the national programme.
Many of our young players have come from the Pro League clubs. It shows that this industry is a very valuable conveyor belt for our national programme.” How soon may the club get subventions? Sancho replied, “for us personally, it is a challenge, it will be a challenge. I know another month without it will definitely mean big trouble for (some) clubs. I’ll be very surprised if clubs survive the Christmas period.
I’m very aware that, in some clubs, players have left in exodus to look for employment. So it’s already starting to have an effect.
No club in the Pro League is having a go at the Government.
We are very grateful for the assistance of the Government. But the challenge we have as clubs is when you have budgeted monies over the course of a year and it doesn’t come, it leaves you in a perilous state.” Jerry Hospedales owner of Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh, earlier revealed that subventions which had not been paid for the last two months were expected to be forthcoming this month.
“I understand that matter is solved, I think it’s solved, so I understand.
The players understood the rationale of the non-payments of wages. But that matter is now settled, as I understand it.
In other words, the Sports Company is making arrangements to have the payments made, but consistent with their own statutory requirements. It’s not a matter I would have concern about right now,” he answered.