Richard Fakoory, owner and manager of T&T Pro League outfit St Ann’s Rangers believes Pro League clubs can get together and run its own competition, as an option this year, as is done by the T&T Super League.
His comment comes in the wake of the uncertainty surrounding the league’s future as there have been no word from Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith to date on whether funding will be made available to ensure the League’s existence.
Government has provided each club, except Police and the Defence Force, with grants of $50,000 monthly to help pay salaries to players. It also puts out additional funding to run the affairs of the League. But there have been doubts of late due to the difficult financial crisis gripping the economy and hints that government funding may stop this year all together.
After failing to contact Minister Smith by phone yesterday, a question was sent to him via Whatsapp asking whether funding will be made available to clubs and the league. However, Fakoory, who has spent most of his life contributing to the development of the sport, said the league can consider running its own competition as a worst case scenario.
He told Guardian Media Sports yesterday, that while it may not be the ideal situation, as there could be no monies for prizes and to pay players it is something that will have to be considered if Government gives no money this year.
“It may just be an ordinary league but my team will be playing for sure. The players and teams that want to play can play, and those who don’t want to play will have to go elsewhere, that’s all,” Fakoory explained.
He called on Government to look at the importance of the league, saying it has been a major tool in the fight against crime and a major drive in the development of the sports especially among the youth.
According to Fakoory the league has also been a major feeder programme for National football teams. Fakoory dismissed claims that Pro League teams can join the Super League this year, saying TTSL teams do not function as pro teams.
“They do not ensure that all teams are outfitted, they do not provide security for officials and players, do not provide medics at matches or meals to players and staff, the TTSL do not provide transport to and from matches and most importantly, it does not pay all players’ salaries,” Fakoory explained.