By E. Glenford Prescott

First Vice-President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Marvin Fraser believes that local clubs should merge as they try to be in in line to be part of the CONCACAF/FIFA Club License programme.

Fraser, who was one of the resource persons at the SVGFF’s training workshop on Saturday, said clubs here may find it a little difficult to attain the required standard set out by FIFA to qualify for the license.

“I am not trying to discourage people from attempting to upgrade their organisation once they have the financial and human resources, but as someone closely involved with my club, Avenues, I can tell you it will not be easy,” Fraser said.

He said that he would, therefore, like to see Avenues come as Central Kingstown FC and Sion Hill as East Kingstown FC and this should be followed and adapted by clubs across the island.

Delegates on Saturday were taken through the process by way of a video with Fraser and SVGFF’s Technical Director, Kieth Ollivierre, explaining the procedure and requirements.

FIFA’s Club Licensing System is based on five key criteria: sporting, personnel and administrative, financial, infrastructure and legal. These criteria aim to safeguard the credibility and integrity of club competitions while improving the level of professionalism within the football family and promoting transparency in the FINANCES, ownership and control of clubs, the FIFA website said.

It said clubs need to fulfil the minimum domestic requirements before the start of the season and these include:

– Accurately completing a club general form, a FINANCE form, a youth development form and an infrastructure form;

– Providing proof of ownership or a contract/agreement for the use of a home stadium;

– Appointing a qualified coach to the first team;

– Registering all first team players and coaches through an online platform;

– Appointing a General Manager, Media Officer, FINANCE Officer, and Marketing Officer;

– Presenting a budget;

– Submitting a legal declaration form signed by an authorized signatory;

– If applicable, submitting the club ownership structure and control mechanisms;

– If applicable, submitting club statutes or an equivalent legal document.

The SVGFF is looking at the year 2018 to introduce the club License programme, which has already started in other countries across the world including the Caribbean.