Pro League… Local clubs promised venues in conclusion of Wired868‘s two-part series

Whatever may be the Pro League’s perceived flaws, neither a poor work ethic nor a lack of transparency is ever included among them.

League CEO Dexter Skeene is aided by an enthusiastic young staff knitted together by Corporate Secretary Julia Baptiste—whom he describes as a phenomenal person and asset—and press officer Randy Bando. Critics of the organisation’s marketing need only look at its regularly updated website or Facebook page to form an accurate judgement.

“We did a survey when I took over in 2004 and there was zero percentage of brand recognition,” said Skeene. “We had our own vision and I think we have done a great job of spreading awareness of the League even if some people disagree… Not everyone understands the budget we have.”

Skeene contended that it takes close to $5 million to run the League effectively. Last season, Government offered the body $3 million; there was even less in previous years so that staff members occasionally missed a paycheck.

And yet, the Pro League is still here and fielding proposals from entrepreneurs who, with a view to signing up, are willing to fork out a $400,000 franchise fee plus produce a bank statement that covers two years’ salaries. The final figure can easily reach $2 million.

Heading the queue of some four teams vying for a spot in the 2012-13 edition of the League is Central FC, run by former Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup player Brent Sancho.

Since clubs generally seek out sponsors to underwrite their wage bill in the hope of turning a profit by grooming and selling players overseas, Central are likely to be the only serious candidate for League membership in the upcoming season.

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