Sat, Feb

Bethel vs Santa Rosa

Dis­sat­is­fied clubs in foot­ball's Su­per League are plan­ning a league of their own.

Guardian Me­dia Sports learnt yes­ter­day that close to 12 clubs have al­ready agreed to take steps to­ward the for­ma­tion of their su­per league com­pe­ti­tion that will en­sure that clubs and play­ers are paid.

Two club mem­bers who wish to re­main anony­mous re­vealed a let­ter ex­press­ing their de­sire has al­ready been sent to the par­ent T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion for ap­proval of the league which can be recog­nised as the of­fi­cial sec­ond-tier foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion.

The mem­bers could not say ex­act­ly how the tour­na­ment will be set up, but they said a meet­ing of the gen­er­al mem­ber­ship is set to take place some­time soon.

It is un­der­stood the clubs, some of which did not play in the Su­per League last sea­son be­cause of their in­abil­i­ty to pay the reg­is­tra­tion fees of $45,000, have been dis­en­chant­ed with the gen­er­al ad­min­is­tra­tion of the League, as well as its in­abil­i­ty to se­cure spon­sor­ship.

For the past two years, the League has had no prize mon­ey, ei­ther be­cause of the re­fusal of Caribbean Foot­ball Trust Lim­it­ed (CFTL) to pay earn­ings to clubs, or dif­fi­cul­ty to gain a spon­sor this year.

Guaya Unit­ed's own­er and man­ag­er Randy Ha­gley yes­ter­day told us that he would not be pay­ing any mon­ey to play foot­ball this year. His team has en­joyed more win­nings than any oth­er club in the TTSL, in­clud­ing dou­ble achieve­ments of the TTSL League and CFTL's League Cup tour­na­ments back in 2017 sea­son that was ex­pect­ed to land them close to $200,000.

The Guayagua­yare men are still to re­ceive their win­nings as well as monies for their fourth place fin­ish last sea­son.

The clubs are an­gry over the amount of mon­ey they have had to put out for no re­turns. Apart from a whop­ping $45, 000 reg­is­tra­tion fee, clubs al­so had to fork out an ad­di­tion­al $5, 000 cau­tion fee and a num­ber of op­er­at­ing ex­pens­es that range from trav­el for match­es, re­fresh­ment and meals, uni­forms and mis­cel­la­neous ex­pens­es that in­clude gear for play­ers. "This amounts to well over $200,000 for clubs and in the end, we get ab­solute­ly noth­ing," one club mem­ber ex­plained.

This year promis­es to be no dif­fer­ent as clubs face an­oth­er moun­tain of chal­lenges, one of which now re­quires them to be TTFA com­pli­ant.

A top ex­ec­u­tive from the TTSL Board said he is un­cer­tain of how the league will func­tion this year, as there is un­like­ly to be any pro­mo­tion or de­mo­tion of clubs, though the Cham­pi­ons of Cham­pi­ons play-off is set to swing in­to ac­tion soon.

The cham­pi­ons of cham­pi­ons tour­na­ment will fea­ture the top teams from the dif­fer­ent Re­gion­al As­so­ci­a­tions- North­ern FA, South­ern FA, Cen­tral FA, To­ba­go FA and East­ern FA, bat­tling for the right to be el­e­vat­ed to the su­per league.

The su­per league is sched­uled to have its first meet­ing on Jan­u­ary 26 at the Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.