TT Premier Football League tier two kicks off May 27
The inaugural season of the TT Premier Football League (TTPFL) tier two kicks off on May 27.
Nine teams from Trinidad – Police FC, Guaya United, Harlem Strikers, QPCC, Matura Reunited, Petit Valley/ Diego Martin United, San Fernando Giants, Defence Force and UTT – and two from Tobago – Bethel United and Phoenix Sports Club – will battle for the crown.
The TTPFL second division was officially launched by TT Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Amiel Mohammed and league CEO Colin Wharfe, at UTT’s Agora Campus in Charlieville on Friday.
The season will run for 14 weeks culminating in August. The truncated season for both tiers means there will be no promotion or relegation at the end of the season.
“The recommendation coming out of the technical group was to deal with the promotion after year three. We made a determination that promotion and relegation will begin when it’s appropriate. Year three is the outside range we’re thinking about and looking at,” Wharfe said.
Each team plays each other once and the top six teams enter a playoff round. Matches will be played on home grounds of the respective teams as well as national stadia and other approved venues.
After tier one’s season concludes in mid-June, a knockout competition will be hosted between both tiers.
Wharfe hinted that the first full TTPFL two-tier season is expected to kick off in October 2023, ending in May 2024.
He added that the TTPFL derived its structure from the recommendations of a 2021 TT professional league development study by FIFA during November 2021 to February 2022.
Funding is being provided by the TTFA through the FIFA Forward programme – a development fund coming out of FIFA. Funding was allocated to cover inter-island transport, buses, insurance, ambulance services and match official fees.
The TTFA finance department will provide financial oversight; collect reports from clubs and prepare them for the four-member executive committee, to share with the relevant stakeholders.
“This is to ensure that the funds invested are applied to their intended purposes. The FA will be the conduit through which all significant funds will be received and disbursed,” Wharfe added.
It is the league’s intent to take the lead in rebuilding stakeholder trust in the local administration of the sport, re-engage TT's current and aspiring players and to get players and teams “back to their pride of place regionally and hopefully beyond.”
The TTPFL's executive committee, chaired by Wharfe, will report to an oversight body which comprises TTFA representatives, Wharfe, representatives from tier one and tier two, officials from sports ministry and SporTT, and a number of independent members. The ultimate responsibility rests with the normalisation committee.
Wharfe informed team representatives that any funds raised and utilised in running their respective teams must be divulged via a report to the league executive.
He explained why.
“We will not be auditing that information but we want the individual with the requisite delegation of authority to sign it. Because at the end of the day, what we’ll like to report back to you and all our stakeholder is: 'This is what it costs to run this league.'
“For us to speak to FIFA with respect to funding, access, training and development – we need the entire picture. The template is being prepared at the moment. We must track funding that has been independently required,” Wharfe said.
He said tier one will not enjoy the benefits of tier one – matches broadcast on the FIFA + app, Sportsmax and certain local television stations – until sponsorship can be sourced.”
After the event launch, the clubs were presented with an official club licence.
Mohammed said this was necessary to participate in the tourney.
“The tier-two teams were required to be certified according to the club licensing standards. We’re very proud here today to say we have 11 fully licensed teams to compete in tier two.
“It is the standardisation of club operations whether it be from legal, sporting, financial, infrastructural and otherwise. There are a lot of prerequisites that each individual club had to fulfill to be awarded a licence.” Mohammed said.
"TT Premier Football League tier two kicks off May 27"