The candidates on the Keithroy Black-led slate are confident they can deliver the private sector funding they believe is desperately needed to move football forward here in Antigua.
This was emphasised by the group’s marketing figure, Elease Richardson, who assured that once successful at the polls next week, a number of sponsors are ready and willing to pump thousands of dollars into the sport.
“There are two companies who are saying, ‘let me be the sponsors of the two big screens’, so at present we are trying to determine. In terms of sponsorship, I was not going to wait until we actually got there to start looking, so we have put together a programme, and we break down each division and we present that to the sponsors. So far, I have been going out there and speaking to major companies about sponsorship and I haven’t had a problem,” she said.
Acknowledging that nothing is cast in stone, Richardson remained confident that her team’s plans for financing will materialise.
“You know, of course, people can say yes now and then they change their minds but the proposals that we present have increased the prize monies and we have about four sponsors who are saying to go ahead. We’ve gone in terms of looking sponsorship for the referee’s association and we have one sponsor who is willing to give a lump sum and we’re trying to get at least, another sponsor to do the whole thing,” Richardson said.
Black, who is one of three candidates challenging incumbent Everton Gonsalves for the top spot, is confident of victory at the polls.
“We have been going out to the clubs; clubs have been calling us and we have been meeting with them and giving them our plans in black and white so they know exactly where we want to go and where we want to take football, so overall it has been going very good,” he said.
“We’re not waiting until we get [elected] because, as we speak, our female programme is being played, not sponsored and I can tell you, if Black becomes president on Monday and the female programme starts on Tuesday it is fully sponsored for the next four years,” he added.
The other presidential candidates are Joel Rayne and Edson Joseph. The election will be held on Monday at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre at Perry Bay.