BRENT SANCHO, owner of 2016-2017 Digicel Pro League kings Central FC, is revelling in his team’s accomplishment of becoming the first team in the tournament’s history to capture a treble of titles, after also triumphing in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons.
“It’s something that is easy to draw up on paper but to actually accomplish it is a phenomenal achievement,” said Sancho.
But despite lifting the trophy for three straight years, there will be no bonus payments for their players and technical staff for the foreseeable future since the club is unsure when they will get their $1 million jackpot.
To date, Central FC, who completed the league treble after their 1-0 win over San Juan Jabloteh at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva last Sunday, are yet to receive their million-dollar prize for winning the 2015-2016 season, and have not collected their full earnings from topping the 2014-2015 edition either.
“It is almost disastrous at this level,” said Sancho. “This is our third year winning and we’re still awaiting (most of) our prize monies from the first year. We have gotten none from the second year and now we’ve gone into our third year and these players deserve to be given bonuses for the work that they’ve put in.”
The ex-Sports Minister and Trinidad and Tobago footballer continued, “It’s a struggle. These players deserve bonuses and deserve to get what they’ve put in work for. We haven’t been able to do that because we’re still awaiting it, on top of the fact that we don’t know if there will be a subvention coming into the Pro League (next) season, which is another challenge.
“As much as winning three times in a row is great, it’s some serious challenges ahead. With no real corporate T&T inside and questions being unanswered as it relates to subventions, I don’t know how long clubs will continue along this line.”
Concerning who funds the prize monies for the league, Sancho noted, “the provider is the Government and, I would imagine, coupled with (major sponsor) Digicel.” But he bemoaned, “there is nothing from the Sports Company (of Trinidad and Tobago), nothing from the Minister of Sport (Darryl Smith) regarding whether or not we’ll be guaranteed subvention going into next season.”
Sancho is hopeful that Pro League Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Skeene and the Sports Minister will be able to resolve both matters (prize monies and subventions) as soon as possible.
“We’ve tried to be patient,” said Sancho. “We want to see the League develop but it’s only so patient we could be.” Sancho added that there seems to be little consideration for local football with the Sports Ministry not acknowledging their historic three-peat. Efforts to reach Skeene proved futile up to press time last evening.