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Skeene: Pro League closure talk premature
Dexter Skeene, long serving Chief Executive Officer of the T&T Pro League has rubbished talk of the country’s premier football competition, now in its 19th season grinding to a halt, due to a lack of financial support.
Within recent weeks, some officials from the league ten’s clubs have raised concerned about the lack of corporate support to clubs as well as the decrease in Government subvention as well, with three-time reigning champions Central FC, W Connection, San Juan Jabloteh, Morvant Caledonia United, Club Sando, Pt Fortin Civic, St Ann’s Rangers and current league leaders North East Stars, the clubs mainly affected with T&T Police FC and Defence Force being government services.
In a media release on Wednesday, Skeene, a former national midfielder of the late 1980s and early 1990s said: Predictions and rumors of the demise of the T&T Pro league are indeed premature.
“The League is having ongoing discussions with proposed sponsors, the Sport Company and the Ministry of Sport, and is assured of the support of the Minister, the Chairman and board of the Sport Company of T&T.
He added, “The T&T Pro League continues to strive to become self-sufficient and the league has survived difficult times before and will survive these rough times.
Skeene reminded all that football is the number one participation sport that touches all classes, creeds, races, communities and villages.
“This current period that is as rough and tough as they come from an economic perspective. It is a test of the League’s resilience, commitment and dedication to its vision and mission of becoming a sustainable and viable football industry, one that provides legitimate careers for young persons with football talent.
“The League is focused on developing the model based on strategically positioning of the games within the communities occupied and identified by the teams. Having a more community focus is a critical success factor and ultimately a key performance indicator to the success of the teams building their respective fan bases and revenue streams from gate receipts, sponsorship, naming rights, merchandising and broadcast rights.
Taking into context, the current world financial meltdown, Skeene said, “Given our individual and collective commitment to the League and an understanding of the broader economic challenges and difficulties we realize that the tests facing the League are no different to those of the business community.
“This is a time for the League to stay focused and positive and continue to work together.”
“I believe we will rise to overcome this temporary situation and we will emerge from these tremendously trying circumstances to become a vibrant, successful football League that is not dependent on the government for its finances and revenue.” he ended.
“The T&T Pro League will overcome and we will prevail, because without a vision the people perish,” he ended.