Wed, Aug

Richard Ferguson, left, of Terminix Limited, sponsor of the Super League and Keith Look Loy - President of the Super League and chief organiser of the United TTFA for the TTFA annual general meeting (AGM) on November 24.

Ed­di­son Dean, the can­di­date nom­i­nat­ed by Richard Fer­gu­son for first vice-pres­i­dent po­si­tion in T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion's (TTFA) No­vem­ber 24 elec­tions, has with­drawn from the slate and to sup­port Unit­ed TTFA.

His de­ci­sion came af­ter at­tend­ing a break­fast launch at the Pres­i­dent's Box at the Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain on Sat­ur­day, where the Unit­ed TTFA pres­i­den­tial can­di­date William Wal­lace de­liv­ered a com­pre­hen­sive pre­sen­ta­tion of his group's man­i­fes­to and a promised of fi­nan­cial in­vest­ments to start his term of of­fice.

In his with­draw­al state­ment is­sued on Sun­day, Dean said: "De­spite the fact that I am named as a run­ning mate of Richard Fer­gu­son for the TTFA elec­tions on 24 No­vem­ber, I was in­vit­ed, as the own­er of Club San­do, to at­tend this event - the launch of the Unit­ed TTFA elec­tion pro­gramme.

"I came with an open mind, pre­pared to as­sess what I heard. Hav­ing seen and heard the Unit­ed TTFA plans for the re­struc­tur­ing and re­vival of T&T foot­ball, and more­so their plans for the fi­nanc­ing of this ma­jor over­haul, I be­lieve I am bound by my re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to foot­ball and the na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to with­draw my can­di­da­cy and to pub­licly de­clare my sup­port for Unit­ed TTFA."

At Sat­ur­day's break­fast event, Dean learned of a num­ber of in­ter­na­tion­al spon­sors in­clud­ing glob­al sports­wear gi­ant Nike that have giv­en their com­mit­ment to the Unit­ed TTFA, should the body be elect­ed in­to of­fice at the TTFA elec­tion.

In Wal­lace's ad­dress, the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) pres­i­dent shared that well over US$30 mil­li­on will be gen­er­at­ed from in­ter­na­tion­al com­pa­nies around the world, pri­mar­i­ly based in In­dia, Switzer­land and the Unit­ed States. He al­so not­ed that Unit­ed TTFA will still at­tempt to source fund­ing from gov­ern­ment, FI­FA and cor­po­rate T&T.

"The task be­fore us re­quires not on­ly ma­jor fi­nance, which Unit­ed TTFA has al­ready be­gun to set in place, but al­so a huge col­lec­tive ef­fort on all fronts," said Dean.

He con­tin­ued: "I, there­fore, com­mit my sup­port in the elec­tion and be­yond to a new, pro­gres­sive Unit­ed TTFA ad­min­is­tra­tion and call on the mem­ber­ship of the TTFA to do the same. Unit­ed TTFA has re­ceived an in­un­da­tion of sup­port from per­sons both with­in and out­side of the TTFA since yes­ter­day's (mean­ing Sat­ur­day) event."

A num­ber of mem­bers from the foot­ball fra­ter­ni­ty at­tend­ed the break­fast event in­clud­ing Col­in Mur­ray, Os­mund Down­er and Joseph Tay­lor (ref­er­ees), Kei­th Jef­frey (San Juan Jabloteh), Brent San­cho (Cen­tral FC/Pro League) and for­mer na­tion­al cap­tain Clay­ton Mor­ris.


United TTFA says, Nike deal in the pipeline.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).

WILLIAM Wallace, the man attempting to unseat president of the TT Football Association (TTFA) David John-Williams, is closing in on securing millions of dollars in sponsorship if elected when the TTFA elections are held on November 24.

Wallace and his team made a two-hour long presentation on their plans to help TT football move forward, at the President's Box, Queen's Park Oval, St Clair, yesterday morning in front of 50 local football stakeholders. Also going up for office with Wallace are Clynt Taylor (first vice-president), Susan Joseph-Warrick (second vice-president) and Sam Phillip (third vice-president). TT Super League president Keith Look Loy and Northern Football Association president Anthony Harford are also part of the United TTFA.

Wallace and Look Loy were the presenters with the pair outlining the team's plans and strategies that included: a national programme, regional programme, Tobago programme, youth football, women's football and competitions. Wallace even tried to inspire those in attendance through song, as Black Stalin's We Could Make It If We Try was a part of the presentation.

The moment that created a huge stir was the number of sponsors, some international, the United TTFA has already attracted if elected in three weeks. Some of the potential sponsors are Spectrum Brands, Scottish Enterprise, Tourism Ireland, Currencies Direct, The Travel Company Edinburgh and the world's largest supplier of sports apparel, footwear and accessories – Nike. These partnerships are expected to add up to millions.

On the partnership with Nike, Wallace said, "We all know who Nike is. I cannot sit in this room today and say this if I did not want to face the courts. This has happened and Nike will be in this region."

Wallace, the current president of the T&T Secondary Schools Football League, said Nike will not only sponsor uniforms. "What are they coming with? Not just giving us uniforms from the primary school to all our teams, but Nikey is coming in to set up a retail store. What does that mean for the TTFA? The venture of course will provide a permanent revenue stream to the FA."

Wallace said the partnership with Nike will pay special attention to women's football. "In addition to providing apparel for the teams, including schools, as part of an ongoing project they have a separate campaign for our women's football. Of course that will boost women's football in T&T."

In a powerpoint presentation, letters of commitment were shown to give confirmation of the interest shown by sponsors.

"I am not asking you to vote for William Wallace, I am asking you to vote for football. I am asking you to give football a chance because this is what this team is going to bring to T&T," Wallace said.

Sean Riley, founder of TV channel Flow Sports, (left Flow a few months ago), will be brought on board in an effort to have more local football on TV. Riley said, "The United TTFA reached out to me to see if I would be an adviser to help look after a few areas. Media rights in particular, also TV production and distribution of that content and creating new content and a little bit in marketing and activation of sponsorships."

Riley said he and his team have created a business called Maco Sport to serve the TTFA and maximise the value of media rights, marketing and sponsorship.

Wallace also discussed the leadership of John-Williams. He said over the last four years under John-Williams the performances of our national teams are deplorable. "Pre December 2015 our men's senior team and women's senior team brought thousands of supporters to the stadium (and) our age group teams were excelling. What was responsible for that? You need to ask yourself that question. What has happened since? Election, new administration and a total reversal of our fortunes on and off the field. Men's senior team have had record losses...women's team programme remains in disarray for an extensive period. No success at any level on the field of play, drastic fall away of our fan base. (The) recent qualifier against Honduras, 78 covered stands tickets sold." John-Williams was elected as TTFA president in November 2015.

Wallace encouraged everyone not to give up on T&T football. "If there is anyone sitting in this room who refuses to accept that our football has hit rock bottom then that person is in the wrong room...we the United TTFA are confident that the approach that we have taken would signal to you and the rest of T&T that there is definitely hope."