Money woes at Tivoli
Club unlikely to play in 2014-15 NPL
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
A lack of sponsorship could force former champions Tivoli Gardens Football Club out of the 2014-15 National Premier League (NPL) competition, which is set to kick off next month.
In a media release yesterday, Edward Seaga, president of Tivoli Gardens, said the club has fallen short of the amount of funds targeted to finance the team in the Premier League because of a fall out of major sponsorships due to economic stress.
Seaga said this has left him with the need to seek unprogrammed financing to fill the gap each season with great stress, which he can no longer continue to do.
Seaga added that his club will choose to focus their attention on youth development because it costs the club less money to participate in junior competitions.
"It is very unlikely, therefore, that Tivoli will contest the forthcoming premier league season," said Seaga.
"It is sad to see a quality team such as Tivoli unable to continue but $15 million per annum is just too much to expect to achieve continuously," he said.
"With half that amount, much more can be done to build talent in players at the start-up age to produce better players beginning at the national level with better prospects of success," Seaga noted.
Meanwhile, a source close to the Tivoli Gardens management staff told The Gleaner yesterday that players were told about the plan to withdraw the club from the Premier League during an emergency meeting on Thursday.
"The players are very concerned ... because they don't want to go anywhere else to play because of their loyalty to the club," said the official who wished to remain anonymous.
"The players are upset and fans are also upset because they are all questioning the decision taken by the club's president."
"Most of the teams in the Premier League are struggling financially, and so I don't believe that withdrawing the club from the competition is the right way to go. I know that there is a solution out there for us and I know that there are persons out there that can step forward and help the club," he added.
Tivoli have won five National Premier League titles and were the runners-up in the 2004 Caribbean Football Union Championships.