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TTFA looking for partners, not sponsorships

By JOEL BAILEY Thursday, August 29 2013

click on pic to zoom in

RAYMOND TIM Kee, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), said yesterday that the local governing body is looking at partnerships, not sponsorships, for the re-growth of the beautiful game in the twin-island republic.

Tim Kee was speaking at a function at the Trinidad Union Club, Nicholas Tower, Independence Square, Port-of- Spain.

“We have made it clear that we don’t want sponsors, we’re looking for partners who will look at our plan and select one of the initiatives with a view of funding and supporting that initiative,” he said. “They are like stakeholders and it goes to the point where they’ll be very close to being part owners.”

He added, “we have had some presentations to three major corporations, all of which are State organisations, and the responses have been quite encouraging. Nothing has kicked in yet because the financial year goes up till the end of September. Our budget has been shared with them and we’ve been included in their budget, so we expect to get something rolling.”

Tim Kee, who replaced Lennox Watson as TTFA president late last year, stated, “I have a real problem with Government being the sole benefactor for our football, just (on Monday) I told the Minister of Sport that. So we are looking for some other interests.

“If the product is good and people respond positively, I am sure the corporations and corporate citizens would want to join on board.”

The veteran insurance agent pointed out, “we’re creating some revenue streams. We are looking at our diaspora, we have gone beyond Trinidad, even beyond the Caribbean. Our website, which will be launched in another month, (will be) state of the art, and we’ll be selling our merchandise and replicas online.”

He continued, “you’re looking at excellence in our performances, both on and off the field. We cannot expect our players to play as a team on the field and we, on the inside, do not have a team. We are looking at the right fix.”

Tim Kee also emphasised the TTFA’s desire to take the game back to the communities.

“Football is going back to the communities,” he noted. “It will be reflecting on our constitution which is now being worked on. In fact it was completed last Friday and will go to FIFA for their final ratification of it.”

He elaborated, “in our efforts to take football to places that have been forgotten - because of distance and geography - we have gone into an arrangement with Chevrolet in the United States, through (former technical director) Lincoln Phillips, who headed the Black Coaches Association in the United States.

“He was able to give us 15,000 balls. These are indestructible so you don’t have to have a green pitch (to use them). This has longevity and it was designed for grassroots and children who can’t buy a ball every year.

“To ensure that there is continuity with football, we have (the balls) to be distributed to clubs and associations in the far-flung areas, and underprivileged and depressed areas.”

Looking back at the hiring of current coach Stephen Hart in June, Tim Kee related, “(somebody) asked about the filling of the stadia. The obvious thing is that the product is not good enough. We had to get the product right, so therefore we went with the creme-de-la-creme this part of the world for Stephen Hart, and Leo Beenhakker.”

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