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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Concacaf names T&T’s Williams to Pro League task force
MIAMI—Trinidad and Tobago’s David John Williams, the owner and president of W Connection, which campaigns in the T&T Pro League has been named to a Task Force established by the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) to study the viability of a professional football league in the Caribbean.
The Task Force also includes Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell and former Jamaica prime minister Edward Seaga have been named to a nine-member Task Force.
The Speaker of the Bermuda House of Assembly, Randolph Horton is also included on the task force that Concacaf yesterday said would be backed by advisers from the major leagues in England and the United States.
It said the task force would examine the feasibility of a Caribbean professional football league, as the Confederation deepens its commitment to the growth of the game across the region.
This will be the second effort to establish a professional league in the Caribbean. A previous attempt to institute a Caribbean league lasted from 1992-1994, when clubs from as far north as Jamaica and south as Guyana competed in the now defunct Caribbean Professional Football League.
“I am certain that there are immense untapped opportunities for football in the Caribbean,” said Concacaf President Jeffrey Webb.
“We need to evaluate thoroughly how best to convert potential into a viable structure that could create new futures for clubs, players, fans and the game as a whole.”
The task force, chaired by Horton, also includes leading figures from the two biggest leagues in Concacaf—Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer in the United States, and Decio de Maria, President of Liga MX in Mexico. It is scheduled to hold its first meeting in Miami on March 24.
“Our focus will be to analyse the feasibility of a sustainable business model—one that can serve as the cornerstone to build a league that provides a platform for Caribbean talent, as it develops equity and value in the long term,” said Garber.
Chief Executive of the English Premier League, Richard Scudamore, said the intention is to make available, the entire executive team available to offer assistance to the Caribbean in realising the potential for top-class professional football.
The task force is charged with analysing all the possible options for developing a sustainable league structure in the Caribbean, with the objective of improving playing standards and overall professionalism.
According to Concacaf, as some nations in the Caribbean possess established domestic leagues, the group will review current infrastructures and assess what competitive format would achieve the best outcomes for long-term success.
TASK FORCE INFO
The members are: Dr Keith Mitchell (Prime Minister of Grenada); Damien Hughes (General Secretary, Caribbean Football Union); Simon Firth (Partner, Maples and Calder, Cayman Islands); Don Garber (Commissioner, US Major League Soccer); Edward Seaga (former Prime Minister of Jamaica and Chairman of Jamaica’s Premier League); David John Williams (Owner/President, W Connection Football Club, Trinidad and Tobago); Decio de Maria (President, Liga MX); Yves Jean-Bart (President, Haitian Football Federation) and Randy Harris (President, Barbados Football Federation).
Special advisers to the Task Force are: The English Premier League; Jefferson Slack (Senior Vice President, Global Business Development, IMG) and Kieran Foley (Group Head Marketing, Digicel)
Consultants: ReThink Management and MCM Consulting Ltd have been named as consultants to the group.