The status of the T&T Super League in local football could be on shaky grounds with the recent approval of the Pro League Second Division.
On Wednesday, Anthony Moore, a member of the committee formed to Sheppard in football for 2019, said attempts will be made with all stakeholders of the sport to ensure that the FIFA's mandate of total club football is achieved by the staging of both the T&T Pro League and Second Division tournament, including having talks with clubs in the T&T Super League and the Regional Associations.
"We cannot force teams to play in the pro league and second division, but we can use the Champion of Champions tournament for teams from the regional associations, a system that has been used in the past as a means of getting teams," Moore assured.
The T&T Football Association Board member, who is also president of the Tobago Football Association (TFA), could not respond to concerns of the future of the super league in light of the new developments. Concerns were raised about which league would have been recognized as the legitimate second-tier competition when the Pro League's second division kicks off on October 4, and whether the super league would be considered a feeder programme to the second division if there will be promotion and demotion.
Guardian Media Sports also sought to find out if teams from the regional association competitions will be required to go through the T&TSL on its way to the new second division after the Champion of Champions playoffs is held.
Super League president Keith Look Loy said on Wednesday that he had no comment when asked for his views on some of the concerns raised.
Only recently, Look Loy rejected an offer for his league/clubs to be the Pro League's second division, opting instead to have his own 2019 season of the TTSL, which is set to kick off on the same day as the pro league (October 4).
However, when Guardian Media contacted some of the super league teams they revealed that their decision to play in either the TTSL or the Pro League Second Division will be influenced by whether they will have to pay to play, and if they will be playing for free.
Randy Hagley, the Guaya United manager said he will play in the Pro League second division. He has also called on the football association, being led by David John-Williams, to ban the super league this year, due to disagreement on the way the league has been managed, as well as failure to honour financial commitments.
Terry Williams of the Marabella Family Crisis Centre (MFCC), said his decision will be based on assurances that there will be funding available this year, saying "One thing I know, is that if we have to pay $45, 000 to play in the TTSL, we will not be playing because we do not have that money to pay." MFCC's financial woes were worsened by the closure of their main sponsor Petrotrin.
Williams said he has been given promises by the super league in the past that a sponsor will be sought, but this has not materialised and he will, therefore, wait to see this in writing first.
Derek Edwards of Petit Valley Diego Martin United echoed similar sentiments, saying his decision will be made on whether they will have to pay to play, as well as if they will be compensated for the football they play at the end. The super league has since called an extraordinary meeting at 8:30 am on Sunday to address these concerns and chart the way forward.