Pro League not surprised by Joe Public exit

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Management of the embattled Trinidad & Tobago Pro League says it not surprised by the Jack Warner-owned Joe Public FC’s shock withdrawal from the 2011-12 season, which kicks off on Friday.

The club, which has won the Pro League three times and as recent as 2009, announced last week that it would not contest the upcoming season, citing several reasons including the non-payment of prize monies over the years.

Managing director Darryl Warner, the son of former Caribbean football strongman Jack Warner, confirmed the club’s withdrawal in an email to the Pro League.

Jack Warner recently quit as a powerful FIFA vice-president and as head of the North, Central American and Caribbean confederation (CONCACAF), amidst corruption allegations.

“First thing first, the decision to pull out of the league by Joe Public came as no surprise to us. We anticipated this move given recent events with regards to Mr Warner (Jack Warner),” Pro League chief executive Dexter Skeene said.

“All the matters raised in their letter were fully discussed at our board meetings over the past few months and they were represented by club manager Sam Phillip at most of those meetings.

“They knew of the decisions taken by the board, but it’s their board which has disagreed with a number of our decisions like the entrance of Queen’s Park FC.

“Like any other industry there are always challenges. What is important is that we have a strategic plan to address obstacles and constraints.”

In the letter to the Pro League, Joe Public also complained about Queen’s Park entry in the tournament, the non-adherence by some clubs to league policies and the general administration of the league.

The club said it would not participate in the Pro League until these matters were addressed.

Joe Public’s latest move marks the second time it has withdrawn from the Pro League following a similar action at the start of the 2003-04 season, only to return a year later.

The popular outfit will be joined on the sidelines by Mau Pau and FC Southend FC who have also opted out, leaving the new season to begin with just eight teams.