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Pro League clubs get $4.8m back pay today.

The eight Pro League football clubs in T&T will receive their promised subventions for the financial period September 2017- October 2018 today.

Among the clubs to benefit is W Connection FC, the only one that is still non-compliant. The Savonetta Boys as they are popularly known, have been given a ‘bligh’ as it is set to cash in on a $4.8 million cheque payout scheduled to take place at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) in Balmain, Couva this afternoon, in spite of demands by the Sport Company of T&T and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs recently, for clubs to be compliant to receive funding.

On Monday, Renee John-Williams, the club’s representative said they could not submit audited financial statements and the strategic plan required to be compliant, as the club’s auditor is still out of the country.

Apart from W Connection, a multiple-time winner of nearly every title on offer in the Pro League, the clubs scheduled to receive retroactive payments at 2 pm are Morvant Caledonia United, Central FC, Club Sando, St Ann’s Rangers, San Juan Jabloteh, last year’s defending champions North East Stars and Point Fortin Civic, which submitted its compliant documents on Friday last.

Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed, however, that the Government, through the Ministry of Sports and Sport Company, will no longer deal with the T&T Pro League directly with regards to payments of subventions, and will instead channel all payments through the parent body, the T&T Football Association, which will then distribute the monies to the League for the clubs.

The reason, it is understood, is to ensure strict transparency and accountability when dealing with the public purse.

However, Anthony Creed, the executive manager of the Sports Development and Performance Unit at SporTT said yesterday he was unaware that such a decision had been made. He said if it was, then it would have come from the Board of the SporTT.

The league, which has faced three delays to its start of the 2018 season, will kick-off on Friday with a Super Friday double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium from 6 pm that pits San Juan Jabloteh against Point Fortin Civic, last season’s fifth and seventh-place finishers, respectively.

In the other game, Morvant Caledonia United will square-off with Defence Force from 8 pm. Matches will continue on August 11. The League will only be hampered by three FIFA international breaks from—September 3-11, October 8-16 and November 12-20.

A pro league release sent out yesterday said the season will be a quick-fire one that will run through to November 24 and will comprise two rounds of football.

The league will also attempt to bring back the traditional Pro Bowl competition which is expected to be played in December.


Pro League season kicks off in Couva.
By Stephon Nicholas (Newsday).

THE new Pro League regular season will kick off on Friday with an interesting Super Friday double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. The league will run to November 24 with 10 clubs battling for supremacy in a quick-fire calendar over two rounds.

The quick-fire calendar will have three breaks for the FIFA international windows – September 3-11, October 8-16 and November 12-20.

The Pro League plans to end the 2018 calendar, which kicked off on June 1 with the curtain-raising Charity Shield and the First Citizens Cup, with the return of the Pro Bowl knockout between November 26-December 14.

The opening Super Friday double-header in Couva kicks off from 6 pm and pits San Juan Jabloteh against Point Fortin Civic, last season’s fifth and seventh-place finishers respectively.

Morvant Caledonia will suit up for their opening league fixture from 8 pm in the second game of the Super Friday double-header against Defence Force FC, and will seek revenge against the Tetron Boys outfit that knocked them out of the First Citizens Cup at the semi-final stage on July 13 to advance into the final with a comfortable 4-0 win.

Central FC, the three-time former league champions, will now look to put to rest last season’s troubling second-from-bottom league finish, and there is no better way to try and improve confidence than against the defending champions North East Stars from 4 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima on Saturday.

North East Stars are virtually a new bunch from the side that enjoyed league success last year under then coach Derek King.

New coach Zoran Vranes must now hope that his almost rookie North East Stars’ bunch would have learned a lot over their five competitive outings this season – which all ended in defeats – as they must now face a star-studded Central possibly still on a high from lifting the First Citizens Cup on July 20.

On Sunday, the action returns to the Ato Boldon Stadium with a mouth-watering double-header with home team W Connection taking on last season’s cellar-placed St. Ann’s Rangers from 4 pm before Club Sando and Police FC lock horns from 6 pm.