Given that former champions DIRECTV W Connection are still owed some $700,000 of last year’s prize money by the Digicel Pro League, Central FC would do well not to start spending newly-accumulated wealth as yet.
The “Couva Sharks”, Central FC, dethroned W Connection on Tuesday night to become 2014-2015 champions of the local professional football league.
New champions Central FC are due a $1,000,000 pay-out as league winners, former champs W Connection have secured the runners-up take of $300,000 and Defence Force, the third place team, $150,000. Every other team down the ladder gets $130,000.
Interviewed at Central’s Ato Boldon Stadium coronation on Tuesday, Dexter Skeene, the chief executive officer of the Pro League, admitted the former champions are still owed a significant part of last season’s winnings. Given that they have won another $300,000 this season, W Connection are now owed a total one million by the Pro League.
“W Connection have received a part of the million dollar prize,” Skeene said. “They would need to receive another 60 to 70 per cent. ”
W Connection owner and Pro League director David John Williams, was hesitant to respond when questioned.
“We are owed,”John Williams gingerly replied, but admitted that running an expensive pro club had been difficult without the funds.
Skeene said W Connection had gotten part payment from its other revenue sources, but credited Government red tape in releasing the Pro League’s promised subvention as the main reason for the payment delay. However, he said that as a limited liability company, all clubs agreed to do what was right for the overall benefit of the Pro League , including making sacrifices.
“Defence Force also had to wait a while to get their prize,” Skeene stated. “We are now awaiting the subvention for 2013-2014 from the Ministry (of Sport). We have gotten a small fraction of the 2013-2014 subvention, and we as well have an allocation for 2014-2015 approved as well by Cabinet.
“All together it is $6.5 million. We have been promised a certain amount for 2013-2014 which is in the sum of $3.25 million. They have told us soon,” Skeene said.
Skeene further pointed out that since the Pro League was a limited liability company, clubs are the owners, and make decision on revenue and expenditure.
“The clubs are owners of the (Pro) League. When the Board meets, which is a member from all the clubs, we sit down and decide how the finances and expenditure are handled,” Skeene said. “All the clubs understand that sacrifices will have to be made for the benefit of the Pro League, the players, and professional football in Trinidad and Tobago.”