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Pro league coming to region

Randy Bennett

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A professional football league is finally coming to the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CFTL) has announced that Major League Football (MLF) would be established in September 2015 with over US$3 million in prize money.
Word of this came via a press release which revealed that 20 teams would be competing.
The news comes just one week after CONCACAF announced that a task force would be established to examine the feasibility of a professional league in the Caribbean.
According to the chairman and chief executive officer of CFTL, Chris Anderson, the time has come when footballers from the region should no longer have to go elsewhere to secure professional contracts.
And with the CFTL’s non-political agenda and knowledge of the football system in the region, Anderson believes that it is the right organization to spearhead such an initiative.
“We have been doing ongoing evaluations and due diligence exercises throughout the Caribbean since 2002.
“The result of this analysis is what propelled us to embark on this endeavour, transposing our findings into a concept that makes the interest of the players our ultimate priority,” he outlined in the release.
“It is all about football and not the politics of the sport. We welcome the task force and look forward to sharing with them our views on how best to achieve this league and provide our regional players with a source of revenue.”
“This is a proud moment for all of us in the region as there will finally be a fully professional league in the Caribbean and our players and coaches can earn a living while participating in the sport they love.
“They also can feel comfortable in knowing that they don’t have to ply their trade all over the world and can be close to their loved ones,” said Anderson.
This announcement comes after support (as it relates to the concept and structure) was garnered from both the president of CONCACAF, Jeffrey Webb and the president of the Caribbean Football Union  Gordon Derrick, along with other heads of regional associations and federations.
“I have full confidence in both Mr Webb and Mr Derrick – two men whom I greatly respect and support, that they will help us to have the MLF up and running by our proposed start date in 2015,” Anderson added.
He is the chief financial officer of PlusOne, a sports apparel company. He said the MLF would be operational for a nine-month period between September and June of each year, with a break in February for one month, reserved for MLF Under-15 and Under-17 Youth Championship tournaments.