A bleak Friday was made worse for T&TEC footballers and cricketers with the news that the Commission is no longer going to fund their participation in the top flight of both cricket and football in this country. In release issued yesterday afternoon by Corporate Communications Manager, Annabelle Brasnell, T&TEC stated its engagement in a cost reduction exercise as the reason for its withdrawal of funding from its professional football and cricket teams. The release went on to state :”The Commission is currently engaged in a cost reduction exercise across the organisation, in an effort to balance its overall budget, which has a projected shortfall in the region of $0.75 billion by the end of the financial year on December 31. “As part of this cost cutting exercise, the Commission has reduced its capital expenditure of approximately $10m, including salaries and wages.”
T&TEC however, went on to confirm that it remains committed to its players and will continue to give them non-financial support as they complete the 2011/2012 Pro League season. The company also affirmed that the financial decision does not affect the tenure of players who are permanent and temporary employees with the Commission. The company has been spending close to $3m to keep the two teams competitive in their respective disciplines. Peter Mohan who is manager of both the T&TEC football and cricket teams told the Guardian that they were told this a little while ago and they are going to fight to stay in the top flight because of all the efforts that went into building both teams over the past few years. “We have made tremendous strides over the past few years and we are competing in the top flight of both cricket and football. A lot of hard work went into this effort and we are not going to sit idly by and allow the efforts to go down the drain. “We are going to continue to compete in the T&T Pro league and in the cricket Premiership and we are looking to the T&TEC Sports Club to assist in keeping the teams afloat financially. It would be difficult but we are hoping to work hard to raise funds to keep our teams together.”
T&TEC has been giving $2m to the football team and $1m to the cricket team. Mohan said it costs in the region of $1.5m to manage the football section and about $400,000 to take care of the cricket team. “We are looking to make up the short fall to keep our team competitive and if this does not work, we will have to revert to playing just our employees in the cricket and football teams. “We have employees in both our cricket and football teams, so in a worst case scenario we will have to just play with our own players. Of course it would affect the quality of our team but at least we will still be involved in the sports.” The T&TEC cricket team has a number of national players including T&T captain Denesh Ramdin, all rounders Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Richard Kelly and batsman Jason Mohammed.