Crunch for Hogges
The credit crunch will have immediate effects on life in Bermuda. Tourism numbers have dropped by 10% this year, there are fewer start-ups, meaning less jobs for Bermudian's and less ex-pats are coming to the island to work. Some of the island's largest companies are also under serious scrutiny from the rating agencies and there has already been some redundancies at one of the countries biggest companies XL Capital
. Historically companies on the island have re-invested back into the local economy by sponsoring many cultural and sporting events.
However that could be about to change. XL Capital have already pulled out of being the title sponsor for next year's ATP tennis tournament at Coral Beach
and other events are in danger. On Friday Shaun Goater, president of the island's professional football team Bermuda Hogges
told how worries over future finance will mean a tightening of purse strings.
Hogges have committed to another season in tier 3 of the US professional soccer pyramid, their 3rd. However they will do it with just a 20-man squad and have released their two best and most costly players Stevie Astwood and Damon Ming. Playing at the National Stadium the crowds started last season at around the 1,000 mark but they dropped considerably, like the Hogges form, to around the 350 mark by season-end.
Hogges have important sponsorship from Ace, Renaissance Re, Aspen Re and the Bermuda Tourism Board and Goater, probably the most respected sportsman ever produced by the island, plans to sit down with these companies soon to discuss future funding.
The USL Division
2 season starts in April and includes Simon Jordan's sister side Crystal Palace FC USA