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Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene.

Having generated over $150 million in invested capital from team owners in over the past 14 years, T&T Pro League (TTPL) CEO Dexter Skeene said, “nothing uplifts the country like football.

“Football at the highest level promotes unity, excitement, pride, creativity, passion for excellence and success, values which many businesses relate to or associate with.”

He said although the various owners remained committed to the TTPL, it was time other players stepped up to the plate. It has to be viewed from an economic standpoint as a means of contributing to the diversification of the economy and positioned to take advantage of sport tourism opportunities.

Skeene said the goal is to transform the Pro League into a viable business model. An overhaul is being undertaken with a series of initiatives to change how people view football and the Pro league.

“It is a time for rationalisation and transition to a new way of thinking, creating a platform for businesses to use football and sports as a vehicle to market their goods and services.”

Expressing his belief that there is money to be made from Professional Football, Skeene said global models had demonstrated the need for investment and patience by relevant parties before profits could be realized drawing parallels to the MLS with pioneers, Lamar Hunt, Phillip Antschutz and Bob Kraft investing over one hundred million ($100 million US $) over ten years before earning television revenues.

“T&T is no different, we need to attract investors and build revenue streams by monetising the assets we own. Football friendly facilities need to be developed in communities where the teams and fans reside with the teams given the opportunity to manage the venues”.

Skeene said it was also about attracting investors and ensuring the infrastructure was in place to help develop athletes. It is about making the Pro League more accessible, working with the players, brands and media to get the message to an increased audience and add value for everyone.