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Seven Pro League clubs yesterday received most of the outstanding $50,000-per-month subventions that they were owed by the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) since October.

In a media release issued by SPORTT yesterday, it was revealed that representatives from eight Pro League clubs - Central FC, W Connection, San Juan Jabloteh, Point Fortin Civic, Ma Pau Stars, Morvant Caledonia United, Club Sando and St Ann’s Rangers, met with recently-appointed SPORTT CEO Adam Montserin and executive managers on Thursday to discuss financial issues at SPORTT ’s office, located at the National Cycling Velodrome in Balmain, Couva. 

Police and Defence Force are exempt from the monthly subventions as their players are members of the protective services. 

“Coming out of the discussions, seven of the eight Pro League teams represented received their funding, having provided the necessary documentation,” the media release said. 

SPORTT chairman Michael Phillips yesterday declined to name the team which did not receive its subventions, stating that he didn’t want to hinder the club from attracting potential sponsors. 

However, Montserin, in the media release, noted, “we would meet again in January to look at improving how we engage clubs and to further discuss the possibility of public-private partnerships to enable them to achieve their objectives.” Central FC owner and managing director Brent Sancho, in a telephone interview yesterday, said, “we had a meeting with the new CEO, (not me) but one of my representatives from the club (operations director Kevin Harrison). 

They mentioned that they had financial challenges but they had to try and make sure that they could try and stay up to date with the subventions.”

Concerning the subventions, Sancho stated, “as far as I understand, apparently they wanted clubs to be compliant. The only unfortunate thing they did is waiting until now to pay that. I’m sure that’s a bit of a blow to the clubs that need the money but I’m sure the clubs are working to become compliant.” The ex-national defender admitted that Central FC was one of the clubs which got their Christmas wish yesterday. 

“We have 80-90 percent of what is required and we’re still working on others to make sure that we’re compliant,” he stated. “This is not just for Pro League clubs. This is for NGBs (National Governing Bodies) and everybody who receives monies from the Sports Company. 

“The challenge of it is that some of the governing bodies and Pro League clubs, some of the things that they’ve asked for, it is a bit of a challenge for small organisations to put together,” he added. “And I’m hoping that the Sports Company works in conjunction with the governing bodies and the clubs to make sure everyone comes up to scratch and everybody is fully compliant.

“From a Pro League perspective, during the two-month wait for the subventions, the clubs could have been working on the compliancy. I hope that some kind of logic comes about, while working with the clubs, and they still make sure and give them their subventions. 

At the end of the day it’s Christmas and the players should get their monies for Christmas.” Asked if the subventions were from October to now or just the month of December, Sancho responded, “I think one month is missing from what I understand. I think they got up until November.”

What did the clubs need to do to come up to scratch? Sancho replied, “things like your business plan, (strategic) plan, things like your constitution, accounts, all these different things that they were asking for, which is something that they’re putting into place. The problem is for some clubs it’s a bit of a challenge in trying to get those things together. At the end of the day, it is a right move (by SPORTT ).”