Sidebar

21
Sat, Sep

UEFA sees positive path ahead for T&T football.
Typography

Following a week of consultations and forum discussions between officials of UEFA and TTFA including various stakeholders, the consensus shared at a Press Conference at the Hyatt Regency on Monday was that the local football factions are on the right path towards sustainable development.

Robert Pon­gracz, a UEFA Football operations specialist  said a US$1mil­lion pro­pos­al is to be di­vid­ed among the two top tier Leagues (Pro League and Super League) with two main char­ac­ter­is­tics, the first is for there to be equal shar­ing among the clubs and there­by en­abling clubs to plan ahead, as they will know how much they will be earn­ing. And the sec­ond is for clubs to re­ceive monies based on their per­for­mances.

Pon­gracz al­so made a recommendation for a sys­tem of pro­mo­tion and relegation which will in­spire clubs to strive for ex­cel­lence and be re­ward­ed for it.

“Foot­ball is not just about play­ing foot­ball, but all the ad­min­is­tra­tion be­hind it. The mar­ket­ing stuff we have bud­get­ed for it, so the club has to learn what has to be done in this mod­ern world to at­tract the fans. Apart from that, we are in­vest­ing heav­i­ly in ed­u­ca­tion, as the clubs must know that there are dif­fer­ent sources of rev­enue.”

The UE­FA al­so pro­posed a club li­cens­ing sys­tem which will be used to guide clubs in un­der­stand­ing what is nec­es­sary to com­bat to­day’s foot­ball chal­lenges. Though the li­cens­ing sys­tem has be­come a norm world­wide, the UE­FA is in the process of fine tun­ing it to show ways it can ben­e­fit clubs.

Howard McIn­tosh, CON­CA­CAF and Caribbean projects se­nior man­ag­er ad­mit­ted there is a lot of work to do on the path of the TTFA to turn around the for­tunes of lo­cal foot­ball. How­ev­er, he be­lieves that be­cause of the po­si­tion­ing of the TTFA, with its own head of­fice, home of foot­ball and its own sta­di­um, it can take im­me­di­ate ad­van­tage of its sit­u­a­tion with some tweak­ing and hard work.

He said TT foot­ball is for­tu­nate present­ly, with the best foot­ball fa­cil­i­ties in the Caribbean, the most sup­port­ive gov­ern­ment, most sup­port from FI­FA, CON­CA­CAF and the CFU, has a home of foot­ball, and has a pas­sion­ate foot­ball pres­i­dent and peo­ple.

“The pro league can be tweaked in six weeks and im­ple­ment­ed. Home of Foot­ball can be tweaked in three months and the strate­gic plan in two months and im­ple­ment­ed” Mc In­tosh said. The TTFA has been a ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the FI­FA For­ward pro­gramme, like many oth­er coun­tries, which, be­cause of its achieve­ment over the years, has achieved an in­crease amount from the world gov­ern­ing body for the sport of US$1 mil­lion from US$500,000 for op­er­a­tional ex­pens­es, and US$750,000 for cap­i­tal projects over the past three years.

UE­FA’s Head of In­ter­na­tion­al Re­la­tions Eva Easquier made it clear her or­ga­ni­za­tion was not here to im­pose the prac­tices of Eu­rope on lo­cal foot­ball, but rather to look at the game and of­fer ideas to im­prove it, and the way it is run, by of­fer­ing tips on best prac­tice.

UE­FA of­fi­cials left a list rec­om­men­da­tion to en­hance the lo­cal game and make it sus­tain­able when they were here five months ago and it en­tailed in­creased in­volve­ment by the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion. Easquier said her team dealt with two mis­sions, name­ly the now con­tro­ver­sial Home of Foot­ball, which is ex­pect­ed to solve a num­ber of fi­nan­cial prob­lems be­ing faced: and the in­tro­duc­tion of a prop­er gov­er­nance struc­ture to as­sist the T&T Pro League.

RELATED NEWS

UEFA proposes US$1M to fix local football.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Clubs must grow, be­come sus­tain­able

A glob­al fig­ure of US$1 mil­lion is be­ing pro­posed over a two-year pe­ri­od by the UE­FA to fix the is­sues fac­ing the T&T Pro League and lo­cal foot­ball in gen­er­al in the short to medi­um term.

But the onus is on clubs to grow and be self-sus­tain­able. Yes­ter­day Robert Pon­gracz, a vice pres­i­dent at the Ro­man­ian Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion who is among a team work­ing with the UE­FA on spe­cial de­vel­op­ment projects such as this one, said the pro­pos­al was made in the spir­it of the part­ner­ship with the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, to as­sist lo­cal foot­ball. And at a press con­fer­ence at the Hy­att Ho­tel, Port-of-Spain, Pon­gracz be­lieves there is a dire need to make the prod­uct foot­ball more ex­cit­ing if cor­po­rate cit­i­zens have to come on board.

The US$1mil­lion pro­pos­al is to be di­vid­ed among the two Leagues with two main char­ac­ter­is­tics, the first is for there to be equal shar­ing among the clubs and there­by en­abling clubs to plan ahead, as they will know how much they will be earn­ing. And the sec­ond is for clubs to re­ceive monies based on their per­for­mances.

Pon­gracz al­so called for a sys­tem of pro­mo­tion and de­mo­tion which will in­spire clubs to strive for ex­cel­lence and be re­ward­ed for it.

He said, "Foot­ball is not just about play­ing foot­ball, but all the ad­min­is­tra­tion be­hind it. The mar­ket­ing stuff we have bud­get­ed for it, so the club has to learn what has to be done in this mod­ern world to at­tract the fans. Apart from that, we are in­vest­ing heav­i­ly in ed­u­ca­tion, as the clubs must know that there are dif­fer­ent sources of rev­enue."

The UE­FA al­so pro­posed a club li­cens­ing sys­tem which will be used to guide clubs in un­der­stand­ing what is nec­es­sary to com­bat to­day's foot­ball chal­lenges. Though the li­cens­ing sys­tem has be­come a norm world­wide, the UE­FA is in the process of fine tun­ing it to show ways it can ben­e­fit clubs.

Robert Mc In­tosh, CON­CA­CAF and Caribbean projects se­nior man­ag­er ad­mit­ted there is a lot of work to do on the path of the TTFA to turn around the for­tunes of lo­cal foot­ball. How­ev­er, he be­lieves that be­cause of the po­si­tion­ing of the TTFA, with its own head of­fice, home of foot­ball and its own sta­di­um, it can take im­me­di­ate ad­van­tage of its sit­u­a­tion with some tweak­ing and hard work.

He said TT foot­ball is for­tu­nate present­ly, with the best foot­ball fa­cil­i­ties in the Caribbean, the most sup­port­ive gov­ern­ment, most sup­port from FI­FA, CON­CA­CAF and the CFU, has a home of foot­ball, and has a pas­sion­ate foot­ball pres­i­dent and peo­ple.

"The pro league can be tweaked in six weeks and im­ple­ment­ed. Home of Foot­ball can be tweaked in three months and the strate­gic plan in two months and im­ple­ment­ed" Mc In­tosh said. The TTFA has been a ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the FI­FA For­ward pro­gramme, like many oth­er coun­tries, which, be­cause of its achieve­ment over the years, has achieved an in­crease amount from the world gov­ern­ing body for the sport of US$1 mil­lion from US$500,000 for op­er­a­tional ex­pens­es, and US$750,000 for cap­i­tal projects over the past three years.

UE­FA's Head of In­ter­na­tion­al Re­la­tions Ava Easquier made it clear her or­ga­ni­za­tion was not here to im­pose the prac­tices of Eu­rope on lo­cal foot­ball, but rather to look at the game and of­fer ideas to im­prove it, and the way it is run, by of­fer­ing tips on best prac­tice.

UE­FA of­fi­cials left a list rec­om­men­da­tion to en­hance the lo­cal game and make it sus­tain­able when they were here five months ago and it en­tailed in­creased in­volve­ment by the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion. Easquier said her team dealt with two mis­sions, name­ly the now con­tro­ver­sial Home of Foot­ball, which is ex­pect­ed to solve a num­ber of fi­nan­cial prob­lems be­ing faced: and the in­tro­duc­tion of a prop­er gov­er­nance struc­ture to as­sist the T&T Pro League.

It is be­cause of the dire fi­nan­cial bur­dens the TTFA has in­her­it­ed that a num­ber of de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes are not be­ing rolled out, she ex­plained. Her as­sess­ment of the state of foot­ball al­so re­vealed the need for prop­er com­mu­ni­ca­tion and trans­paren­cy.

UEFA proposes US$2m for football development.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).


TTFA, Pro League told to stand on their own feet –

THE TT Football Association (TTFA) will be hoping to get $2 million US over a two-year period through the FIFA Forward Programme to help with the development of local football. However, UEFA and CONCACAF officials are urging the TTFA to use this period to ensure local football can stand on its own feet.

Over the past week, UEFA, CONCACAF and TTFA officials have had daily meetings and discussions centred around charting a way forward for the TTFA as it pertains to good governance and football operations in T&T.

Yesterday, a press conference, at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain was held to discuss the week’s proceedings. The conference included TTFA president David John-Williams, senior executive at CONCACAF Howard McIntosh, head of international relations at UEFA Eva Pasquier, football operations specialist at UEFA Robert Pongracz and project specialist at International Relations of UEFA Chris Miles.

McIntosh said T&T is fortunate that assistance is provided from the Government of T&T. McIntosh said, “The Sport Company has already committed funding for three years – one was last year and you have two years remaining on that – and now the proposal that is on the table is that the TTFA, through the FIFA Forward Programme, use a portion of those monies specifically dedicated to projects to support professional football. The total amount of funds that has been proposed is approximately US$2 million over the period of the two years.”

McIntosh encouraged the TTFA to use the two-year period to put systems in place to ensure that the local football association is not dependent on the Government.

“The general idea there is to use that period to put in place a solid foundation to ensure the sustainability of professional football in T&T. You have been lucky in that you’ve been able to go back to the Government a lot of times to get support. The idea is that the TTFA and the Pro League must now start to stand on its own foot and the idea is to use this period to ensure that structure is put in place – proper governance, proper marketing, proper commercial engagement, proper competition structure to make the product attractive and ensure more sustainability.”

Pongracz said the proposal considers what happens behind the scenes to help football develop. “Football is not just playing football, it is all the administration behind clubs. Therefore, marketing staff and activities we have budgeted for it in this proposal, so the clubs have the possibility to learn what has to be done or what can be done in this modern world in order to attract the fans.”

Pongracz said administrators must find a number of ways to earn money for football clubs. “We are looking to develop several sources of income for the clubs. It cannot be the club is just relying on some sources and depend on them. They have to know and understand that the ability of a club has to be to develop further and find different sources of revenue.”

To qualify for funding all the TTFA programmes must be running such as the Pro League, Super League, referee programmes and women’s football.