ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua Barracuda FC have received financial assistance and have begun negotiations with some players as they look to put a roster together ahead of their opening fixture in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) PRO slated for April 13.
Manager of the professional football club, Fernando “Nando” Abraham, confirmed that the privately owned entity has received some funds but is still in need of a significant amount.
“A full Barracuda season would be approximately EC $1.6 million and a lot of it is still outstanding, but we are still trying to see where we can make ends meet,” he said.
“But we do not want the young men of this country to not use the opportunity to get a chance to expose themselves in the United States and throughout the world so they could have an opportunity to get a better contract than they could have with the Barracuda.”
The former national player added that it’s no secret the team has been struggling financially for the past two seasons and encouraged potential investors to come onboard as it is mainly about giving Antiguan players an opportunity to showcase their talents to a wider market.
“I am not saying we have received the necessary finances because at the moment we are still looking and we are still waiting for everybody to jump onboard and make sure they assist this programme because some young men need to expose themselves and we need to give them the opportunity; and if you can say to the public, ’yes, support the Barracuda as best as you can because they are trying to make an effort to be in the USL for 2013,’” the manager said.
Abraham said he expects a roster to be finalised by early next week but added it could be the minimum requirement of players as they seek to avoid a high wage bill in the face of tough times.
“By Monday or so I would say is the accurate time for me to give you … a full roster with everybody confirmed going into the games. The minimum we can sign is 14 so we must first try and get the 14 players in and then we can take it from there,” he said
“Last season and the season before we had some difficulties in meeting the monthly salaries and we do not want to go into that situation again. We want to make sure that it is covered so that everybody can be happy and we can get a maximum effort from every single player without them having to say to themselves that they need to hold back because they are not being paid.”
Barracuda will take on Charlotte Eagles on April 13 in their 2013 opener at the Queens University Stadium in Charlotte. The game is slated to start at 7 pm.