T&T Professional Football League hopefuls, WASA Clean & White, Superstar Rangers and Starworld Strikers must present the PFL committee today with documentation regarding their proposed entry into the league for the 2006 season.
On Wednesday, Dexter Skeene, chief executive officer of the PFL said the three clubs were given until today to meet the league entry requirements, after which a decision will be made on their future.
Skeene said that some of the key components for gaining entry into the PFL were to have a youth system in place; to show a proper and secured source of financing and the ability to provide funding to cover players’ income for the season.
Crab Connection, like WASA and Rangers, members of the National Super Football League, have declined the offer to participate for financial reasons.
Asked to give an update on his team’s proposed entry into the top level of club football in T&T, Richard Fakoory, chairman of the Rangers club said: “We have been able to acquire part-sponsorship and we are now looking towards the Sports Company of T&T (SPORTT) to assist us in fulfilling the financial demands of the league.”
“We understand that SPORTT has been assisting some of the other clubs in the league and are in the hunt for a fourth club, which we hope will be us.”
A worried Fakoory added, “Our deadline is Friday (tomorrow), so we are hoping on a quick response from SPORTT,”
“At present we have about 200 players from the junior teams up to the senior team in training so in terms of our talent pool we have a lot to choose from.”
Reached for a comment Ken Butcher, chief executive officer of SPORTT, said the decision on which a team will be given assistance from his company lies strictly with the PFL.
“The league has to make a decision on which teams will be accepted and when this is done, they will inform us on the financial situation on the clubs and how best we can assist. If they are short by x amount, the PFL has to tell us,” ended Butcher.
Ralph Haynes, manager of the WASA said his club was faced with an awkward situation with regards to their PFL application.
Haynes said: “Basically because we are a public corporation we have to undergo a process in terms of getting clearance from our chief executive officer and the board of directors before making a decision.”
Haynes cited a key reason in WASA not being in a better position to meet the league’s criteria is because of their late invitation.
“We were only informed of our chance to enter into the PFL on March 6 and then had a meeting with its board three days later, and were briefed on what was expected of us if we hope to be part of the league, so we were caught off-guard.
“In a sense, to achieve what was asked off us in short team is kind of asking a lot, but we are still hopeful.”
With respect to having a youth team in place, Haynes said WASA was looking at the option of adopting a youth group/club from the St Joseph area of some of the schools in the community.
Efforts to reached Starworld Strikers, owned by Ashmeed Ali, was unsuccessful, but it is understood that his club is ready to resume their campaign in the PFL, after dropping out of the 2005 season because of financial constraints.
So far, eight clubs have been confirmed for this year’s season which kicks off on April 8—reigning champions Vibe CT 105 W Connection, CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA, Defence Force, National Quarries North East Stars, Tobago United, United Petrotrin, Joe Public.
Following a meeting on Tuesday regarding the requests by some teams for more time to complete transfer of players, a decision was taken by the PFL board to extend the transfer deadline which was up on Tuesday by two weeks.
All clubs have now been given an additional two) weeks to sort out the transfer of any player they are interested in, with the new deadline being March 31, 2006
Skeene said this was done to ensure that there is a level playing field for all the new clubs who are now completing their roster line-ups
“The League saw it necessary to give in to the request made by the teams, especially the new teams to ensure a level playing field, ” ended Skeene.