The Puerto Rico Soccer League, the island’s most elite league, will join forces with Playbook Management to create an administrative and legal structure for the sporting organization, looking to invest in and further the sport, executives said.
Playbook Management President Michael Hitchcock will be in Puerto Rico next week to make the agreement official.
“Every successful business has a comprehensive, fully integrated business plan and strategy and while soccer is the beautiful game that belongs to the community, it’s still a business and needs to be run in a responsible, sustainable way,” Hitchcock said.
“So it’s critical for the success of PRSL to have a playbook. Our goal with the PRSL Playbook is to build a road map to success for the league,” he said.
“The playbook is an inclusive process that will be built with the input of the owners, key stakeholders and community leaders to ensure we are in position to be successful to help the sport realize it’s incredible potential in Puerto Rico,” Hitchcock added.
The PRSL was founded in 2008 by businessman Mike Rocca. Between 2008 and 2011 the PRSL was recognized as the second best professional league in the Caribbean, but due to the recession that began to affect the island, the league had to recess to reorganize.
From 2013 to 2017, the PRSL has operated as an amateur elite league and now aspires, under a hybrid model adapted from a common style of Major League Soccer, to professionalize Puerto Rican soccer beginning in September 2018.
As part of its plans to return to professional soccer, the PRSL recently announced plans to make a multi-million dollar investment in remodeling and building facilities for the use of partner clubs and soccer practice activities.
PRSL President Joey Serralta met with several municipal executives to meet the goal of buying the necessary facilities so that professional teams taking the field have “access to the best of the best,” he said.
“We’re not only working to get the support of the municipalities for the project, but we’re betting on private investment. We’re aware that the municipalities are going through a fiscal crisis, so we want to work to help them. I want to emphasize that the investment will be mostly private,” said Serralta.
Meanwhile, Hitchcock said, “There’s tremendous potential for professional soccer in Puerto Rico. With the proper business model and the right level of investment, I’m very confident that the PRSL will be one of the premier soccer leagues in the Caribbean and CONCACAF. Puerto Rico has a strong soccer history that provides the foundation to grow from.”
Playbook Management brings more than 20 years of professional soccer management experience and expertise in the U.S. and internationally — from Major League Soccer to international clubs and leagues to lower division football/soccer to grassroots football/soccer.