"Evolution or Revolution!"
This is the catch phrase thrown out to the TT Pro League club owners at yesterday's session at the UEFA/TT Pro League Seminar by UEFA moderator Kenny Macleod, a strategy and marketing specialist held at the Ato Bol;don Stadium in Couva.
In presenting his views on options open to the TT Pro League in terms of restructuring, rebranding and marketing, Macleod challenged the owners to be revolutionary in their battle to ensure the survival of professional football in T&T.
"You can wait for things to evolve or you can make radical changes to your approach and create marketing strategy that can put you on a pathway to sustainability,” Macleod insisted.
He explained that while each country has its own level of uniqueness, some of the problems faced by clubs in T&T are very similar to clubs in other parts of the world.
"There are key steps that must be taken in terms of staffing, fan creation and venue selection. This is not us trying to bring Europe to T&T, your issues are not as unique as you think,” Macleod said.
Morvant Caledonia AIA technical director Jamaal Shabazz is ready to accept the challenge thrown out by the visiting football personnel, among them head of International Relations UEFA National Association Division Eva Pasquier, legal specialist Efraim Barak, Macleod and Concacaf representative Howard MacIntosh.
"This UEFA/TT Pro League seminar has reaffirmed that we in Morvant Caledonia AIA need to acquire the grounds at Park Street in Morvant, cut across the red tape with the regional corporation and get the venue ready to play football,” he said afterwards.
"We have seen the social impact of football bringing communities together in Morvant and Laventille. Now the challenge is making the ground in Morvant a facility that could be the springboard for self-sufficiency.
"From that platform of having a home ground, we can create a fan base, then sell merchandise and become a viable entity.”
Shabazz revealed that they had initial talks with the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation and his club is now ready to present a proposal for the grounds.
"We have seen on the other side of the Caroni bridge where cooperation between the regional corporations and cricket clubs like Clarke Road and Preysal has borne fruit for the man called 'cricket'.
"These are precedents where similar arrangements in the east/west corridor can bear fruit for the man called 'football',” stated Shabazz.