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Five T&T U-20s set for Europe; but Central braces for Levi tug-of-war

Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 footballers Levi Garcia, Kadeem Corbin, Neveal Hackshaw, Jesus Perez and Kishun Seecharan were awarded European entry visas yesterday and are expected to travel to the Netherlands within the coming week en route to trials with undisclosed clubs in Europe.

The parent clubs for 18-year-old Corbin, 19-year-old Hackshaw and 19-year-old Perez agreed verbally to the valuation of the players by Dutch agent Humphry Nijman while 18-year-old Seecharan, who is registered with Defence Force, will be allowed to move on without a transfer fee.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) bamboozles the Curaçao defence during a Caribbean Cup fixture. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) bamboozles the Curaçao defence during a Caribbean Cup fixture.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

But the football future of 16-year-old Garcia is less certain with Nijman and the teenager’s employer, Central FC, at loggerheads over a deal for the talented winger. Central has so far refused Nijman’s offer for the teenaged “Soca Warrior” while the agent, for now, is not prepared to make a new one as the fight seems destined for the courts.

Garcia, who is a Form Five student at Shiva Boys Hindu College, has never represented Central in a competitive match and only joined the club in March on a two-year deal. The national under-20 player supposedly indicated his intention to quit school and turn professional with the “Couva Sharks” in July.

However, Garcia’s sparkling performances at the Under-20 Caribbean Cup tournament and an approach from Nijman and his local assistant, Dion Sosa, during the competition, changed his flight path considerably.

Sosa and Nijman were responsible for moving Sheldon Bateau, Robert Primus and the now deceased Akeem Adams to Europe where they settled at top flight clubs in Belgium, Kazakhstan and Hungary respectively.

Sosa told Wired868 their plan for the five players.

“They are going to meet with their agent (Njiman) who is based in Amsterdam,” said Sosa. “From there, they will branch off to various clubs for three week trials. We will be looking for an academy for Levi because he is under age (to turn pro as a foreigner in Europe); but we are looking at first team football for the rest.

“We are opening a door for them now and their lives can change. It can be good for them, their families and Trinidad football; because the environment they will be exposed to and the teams they will be training with they can only get better.”

Photo: SWO member and Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: SWO member and Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 replica cheque for Akeem Adams to his local manager, Dion Sosa. Adams died in December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

However, Central FC managing director Brent Sancho, a 2006 World Cup player with Trinidad and Tobago, insists that the Sharks do not need help in developing their players or finding them foreign opportunities.

Sancho said that Central signed Yugoslav-born coach Zoran Vranes—to replace the departed Englishman Terry Fenwick—specifically because of his experience in working with youngsters. Vranes was head coach when the national under-20 team booked its place at the 2009 World Youth Cup, which was the last FIFA time that the two island republic qualified for a FIFA competition.

“One of the reasons we went for Vranes as our coach is because we saw we had good young talent coming through,” said Sancho, “and Vranes is renowned for not only developing young players but also playing them… But they are filling up the boy’s head with all kind of things.

“I have a trial lined up for Levi with Racing Genk (Belgium) and with Toronto (Canada). So it is not as if we are trying to hold him back… But the little boy doesn’t train with us anymore so obviously they turned his head and put his family against the club.”

Fellow Pro League clubs St Ann’s Rangers and North East Stars took a different view to Central with regards to Nijman’s offer.

Sancho claimed that Rangers accepted US$15,000 for Corbin, which was supposedly much less than the offer for Garcia. However, neither Rangers club chairman Fakoory nor Sosa confirmed that figure.

Fakoory told Wired868 that he did not want to stand in the way of his talented striker, who was named as the MVP of the Under-20 Caribbean Cup.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago under-20 striker Kadeem Corbin (right) prepares to fire past Haiti goalkeeper Steve Sanon in the 2014 U-20 Caribbean Cup final. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago under-20 striker Kadeem Corbin (right) prepares to fire past Haiti goalkeeper Steve Sanon in the 2014 U-20 Caribbean Cup final.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“They talked to me and made me an offer,” said Fakoory. “And since the under-20 tournament, Kadeem hasn’t showed up at practice once. So what could I do?

“Yes, I came to an agreement to send him on a trial. I had no choice but to let him go for the betterment of the club and to give him an opportunity to further himself.”

Stars coach Angus Eve was reluctant to say much on his club’s deal with Nijman, which will see Hackshaw and Perez move to Europe for trials.

“I just want the boys to get an opportunity,” Eve told Wired868. “I had experience dealing with these agents before with (Sheldon) Bateau while I was at Jabloteh, so I knew what to expect.”

But Sancho insisted that Central would not budge and he accused Nijman of underhand tactics and a contradictory approach to FIFA’s current efforts to outlaw third party ownership.

Sancho said that he is happy for Nijman to take Garcia on trial and be paid for his work in negotiating personal terms. However, he is adamant that the matter of a transfer fee must only be discussed between the buying and selling clubs while he also insisted a sell-on clause would be inserted into any agreed deal.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I find it strange that the agents are trying to buy-out the player and I am not indulging in that kind of practice of selling a player to an agent,” said Sancho. “Their problem is that, whatever deal is happening, we want a sell-on clause just like there was for Kenwyne Jones and Khaleem Hyland and the agent said he is not doing it. They want everything for themselves.”

His stance was supported by DIRECTV W Connection president David John Williams, who pocketed well over $1 million when Kenwyne Jones moved from Southampton to Premiership club Sunderland due to a sell-on clause.

“If the player is under contract, why do you want to buy out the contract to move them?” asked Williams. “So the (Pro League) club doesn’t make any money? When they buy out the contract, they get a big signing-on bonus and they make the money or get their own clauses in the deal.”

But Sosa called Sancho’s demand ridiculous, particularly as Garcia never played a game for Central and spent less than three months training at the club

“Why should a (European) club pay, house, develop and take care of Levi and, three years down the line, be forced to give Central money for doing absolutely nothing?” asked Sosa. “That is unfair to the (new) club because they are taking all the risk… Why should (Central) get 10 percent for a player they never developed in the first place?

“We made them an offer that is way beyond the player’s market value. But Central’s demands were not reasonable and we have decided not to give into those demands.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kishun Seecharan (centre) holds off Suriname player Ervin Slagveer during the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kishun Seecharan (centre) holds off Suriname player Ervin Slagveer during the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Sosa warned that Central could lose Garcia for nothing as the agents are set to challenge the validity of its contract with the player. Garcia’s elder brother, Daniel, accompanied the young man when he signed his professional contract with Central and not his parents.

In a previous interview with the TTFA Media, Garcia credited his brother, Daniel, for being a key motivator in his career

“He’s always there for me,” said Garcia. “If I have to go training or to a game he will get the taxi or rent a car for me to get there. He pushes me all the time to do better.”

But Sosa is certain that Daniel is no position to sign as his younger brother’s guardian.

“It is an agreement which was entered into without the consent of his parent and that by itself is illegal,” said Sosa. “No minor anywhere in the free world can enter into a contract without the written consent of his parent; and neither his mother nor his father’s names are on the contract.

“They took Daniel and had him sign as a legal guardian when both (Levi’s) parents are alive. And then they want to turn around and play wrong and strong.”

Garcia’s mother, Judith Garcia, confirmed that she did not sign an agreement with Central.

“My big son, Daniel, signed it,” she said. “I do not want to get into any confusion… But I spoke to Brent Sancho and I told him that I want Levi to go to Europe.”

Photo: Central FC attacker Nathaniel Garcia (left) runs at St Ann's Rangers defenders Trevin Latapy (centre) and Jelani Peters. Nathaniel is also an older brother of Levi Garcia. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Nathaniel Garcia (left) runs at St Ann’s Rangers defenders Trevin Latapy (centre) and Jelani Peters.
Nathaniel is also an older brother of Levi Garcia.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Central director of operations, Kevin Harrison, acknowledged that Garcia’s parents did not sign their son’s contract but explained why he felt the Sharks still had a claim on the boy’s future.

“(Levi) brought an adult to meet us who wasn’t a minor and who understood everything (about the contract),” said Harrison. “His parents sat in our office several times after that and they never said they didn’t want him to play with us. So if they are trying to say they didn’t give us permission they would be lying.

“In fact, everything was great until Humphrey showed up… I have already told (the parents) that no matter what he promises you, Levi isn’t going anywhere until we make an arrangement with that (buying) club.”

But Sosa believes Central’s attitude can only harm the player and is ultimately counter-productive.

“Between his parents and ourselves, we are trying to sort it out in a cordial manner,” he said. “And, if not, we will do what we have to. Levi does not want to play with Central.

“These boys—all five of them—are going to a first class, professional environment for the first time, which can only help their development.”

Garcia’s present teammates at Shiva would be happy to win the Secondary Schools Football League (SSL) Premier title while his classmates are preparing themselves for CXC examinations next May.

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) defender Kori Cupid (right) tries to keep up with Shiva Boys attacker Levi Garcia. Garcia chose to play for Shiva instead of Central this season. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) defender Kori Cupid (right) tries to keep up with Shiva Boys attacker Levi Garcia.
Garcia chose to play for Shiva instead of Central this season.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Meanwhile, Garcia is enduring a tumultuous start to his life as a professional sportsman. It is not the sort of tug of war that most footballers are exposed to at the age of 16.

Almost certainly, Garcia’s impasse with Central has already cost him the chance of an international senior debut during next week’s Caribbean Cup qualifiers as head coach Stephen Hart was unimpressed by his decision to represent Shiva in the SSFL rather than Central in the Pro League.

Garcia will hope to make up for that in Europe; providing that Sancho and Nijman come to an agreement.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. I think you are correct Brian but the lawyers should weigh in here.

  2. I get the feeling Levi Garcia, as a minor, did not have a parent or legal guardian actually sign his Central FC contract. Typically, an older brother is only a legal guardian if he was deemed so by the court system. Saying he signed with his parent’s “tacit” approval and took monies, boots, etc really speaks to any young, and in some cases unscrupulous, people. To be fair, Central FC may be owed a refund of all monies paid to Levi Garcia, if he goes to another professional club, or never returns to play, but there are lessons to be learned here on all sides of this issue.

  3. Gordon, these are global rules. Are you saying that T&T should ignore them? As a club, we have to operate within these rules. It appears that certain agents don’t feel the same way. I see no problem with sending players overseas, but I do think that 16 is too young. Attending a university may be a little safer at that age, but even then, I’d rather the youth wait until 18. The reason Trini players struggle is because of the strict EU work permit situation which were not as tough back in 2006.

  4. Dwight Yorke went to England at 18. And there were was no professional football for him in Trinidad then. It isn’t the end of the world if he has to wait two years.
    The rule is there to protect him.
    Of course, I also wait to see if the agents have a way to get this move to fall within FIFA law.

  5. I don’t see the comparison with the Plaza and Rundell situation either Gordo.

  6. Completely missing the point Gordon Pierre. The rules are there to prevent children from being exploited and traded like a commodity. As I indicated in the other thread, for every Messi, hundreds of children fall by the wayside.

  7. Had a chance to get some video footage of Dexter Francis and Levi’s mother today before Shiva’s game against St.Benedicts…putting it together.

  8. A wonder central was not so concerned about rundell winchester and willis plaza! Just saying

  9. Otherwise our best players will in second and third level leagues in europe,usa and asia

  10. We need our players to get out at a young age so they can be developed and at least get a chance to play at d highest level!!

  11. More trini legal quote fifa laws when convenient!!! All this proves is that it is vitually impossible for trini player to play at a high level in europe!! It is these rules y there is no trinis playing d best leagues in europe

  12. These local clubs need to understand that pro league football will not bring out the best in our players

    • Yes, but people need to understand that the Pro League clubs invest in their players and should not allow themselves to be bullied by agents or foreign clubs for players. They should demand that they’re paid a fair amount for players.

  13. I hope and trust that everyone concerned do not take advantage of this youth,he is only 16 years old.

  14. Once he never got salary he is free to depart

  15. I will publish that FIFA article Kevin Harrison

  16. c) The player lives no further than 50km from a national border
    and the club with which the player wishes to be registered in the
    neighbouring association is also within 50km of that border. The
    maximum distance between the player’s domicile and the club’s
    headquarters shall be 100km. In such cases, the player must
    continue to live at home and the two associations concerned must
    give their explicit consent.

  17. FIFA Article 19 International transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18.
    The following three exceptions to this rule apply:
    a) The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is
    located for reasons not linked to football;
    b) The transfer takes place within the territory of the European
    Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and the player
    is aged between 16 and 18. In this case, the new club must fulfil
    the following minimum obligations:

  18. Barcelona is facing a transfer ban because of its illegal practice of recruiting children outside of Spain. They are NOT an example to be followed.

    I thought FIFA has rules governing the signing of under-age players. Other than the third party ownership, am I missing something here? I fully agree with Kevin’s points btw.

  19. Perfect opportunity for legislation and policies to be formed. Pele’s Law, Bosman’s law came about due to certain scenarios. We the stakeholders need to come together on this.

  20. same ting Rangers doing 2 me dont want me 2 go North East bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Gordon Pierre, I understand the point you’re trying to make, but you are speaking out of context. The player cannot be signed without consent from parents or guardian. This consent was given in the form of the family’s selected representative. If Central F.C. sold the player, Siparia Spurs would have received a percentage under FIFA’s player passport plan. If the agent “owns” the player, only the agent will profit from the sale. You pointed out that the player has not played a game for Central and we haven’t arranged a trial overseas. The player would have played in Central’s first game of the season, but he was with the Under 20’s. He failed to report to training when leaving the U20’s. Had he done so, he would have played in Central’s next game. Central has several interested clubs who he could have gone to on trial. The player happily took his salary since March, the signing on bonus and a $1,000 pair of boots. Now, Gordon, who protects the clubs and players from unscrupulous, unlicensed agents who have never spent any time or money coaching the player, yet will take much needed money out of T&T football. Money that will be used in part to develop our next generation. And one more question for you. While Central F.C. spend time amd money raising awareness about women’s cancer, rape and domestic abuse, distribute food hampers to the needy, provide free coaching schools, and are the only club to provide medical screenings and insurance for players and purchase a defibrillator , what has Mr Sosa given back? We are not the wicked witch here. Central operate as does every other club in the world. Only one or two agents operate as 3rd party owners, and FIFA will outlaw them by 2018. So, in your words, “Lets be real about what this whole issue is about please!!”

  22. Mind u without d player playing a game or d pro club organising a trial!! Lets be real about what this whole issue is about please!!

  23. Who protection d player from d pro club that sign them without d parent signature? And who protect d community teams from d pro team that sends a transfer form to sign for free but less than six months later want compensation and sell on clauses! Smh

  24. At this moment, Levi is a contracted player of Central F.C. He would not be a free agent as he is attached to a club. May I point out that this system of contracting young players with a signature of a parent or guardian has worked perfectly well for some years. However, there has been several instances where contracted players have breached their contracts and returned to school football. We have a 17 year old player who is repeating his 3rd form to play football. He repeated it last year as well! Do not be misled, the majority of these players do not return to school football for educational reasons and will leave school once Intercol ends and return to professional football. The situation with Levi is different. Yes, he has breached his contract to play school football, but his agent is now challenging the legitimacy of the contract for his own financial benefit. That’s why the issue is no longer about Levi, it’s about the protection of clubs regarding contracted players.

  25. Kirwin Weston where yuh input

  26. By 18, I had played for two schools and six different club teams. And it is as if I was such a sought out player.
    I bet Corbin can barely count the number of teams he represented. So that compensation thing will always be ticklish.
    Right Gordon Pierre?

  27. Trevor Bridglalsingh that is a very good point. I think Kevin Harrison mentioned that many amateur teams don’t keep proper records of its players so as to apply for compensation.
    Don’t know myself.
    It would be interesting to know if schools can apply. That seems fair in some cases.

  28. Can anyone clarify ? Dion Sosa enlighten me

  29. Secondly, if according to the non Central FC parties, that the “pro contract” has been voided in some fashion, is he a free agent ? Or a youth player of Central FC ?

  30. Policies. Where are the policies to resolve issues like this and of similar ilk ? Do what model does Trinidad follow ? The legitimacy of Garcia’s contract is what’s causing the issue here.

  31. I don’t see why court is necessary. Maybe I am naive. From all accounts it sounds as though he is a central player. If he did sign he is obligated to them. It’s their decision to sell or keep him, am I wrong? He and his family made this decision 6 months ago. I am not taking sides either just seems from reading the article this is the case? This should be a lesson learnt by that family. When you sign anything you have to abide by the contract. They can’t go to Europe and sign something and a bigger club comes after him and expect to find loopholes in the process to get out of it. That’s how it sounds like right now. They were all content and happy to sign a contract with central and now that they are seeing a bigger opportunity, they are saying the parents didn’t sign the paperwork and he is only 16. I keep hearing these footballer dropping out of school and not going to classes etc in Trinidad to pursue a career in football. This works overseas because they are in academies getting educated on how to become a pro. Not just the football aspects. A lot of these decisions I read about seems to be uneducated decisions

  32. I am not taking sides just saying before we march to court let us view d whole matter clearly

  33. The team in Argentina allowed his progress though and they were the home pro team which would be Central in this case!

  34. Anthony Sherwood, while it’s never nice to be examined publicly in this way, this issue is of such importance that we will have to take our licks if a situation is to be improved. All Pro League contracts expressly forbid players to represent other teams, including school teams, without permission. Our only options are to fine players or terminate their contract, which in this case, is obviously attractive to certain people. Gordon Pierre, remember, Central were not looking to sell the player at this stage. His future development was our concern, not only to benefit Central on the field, not only to benefit the national team, but also because both Levi and Central could get a better deal after a year of professional football. The situation is far different from Dwight’s days as the opportunities are fewer with the current EU work permit situation. I believe Messi had been tracked by Barca for a while before he joined them. But there is no way that Barca would have allowed an agent to take Messi away from them 6 months after he joined them!

  35. All parties should come together and work out what is best for d lad!! Kevin brought some good points but messi and Yorke left home at young ages to ply their trade! In the end the youngster’s future should be everyone’s main focus.

  36. The more i read and hear the more i see trini legal behaviour quote fifa rules when convenient and bush laws when convenient!! His legal guardian or parent can appoint someone in WRITING to represent them otherwise d trini legal acrobatics is a waste of time

  37. Kevin I think it’s good that you’re getting ur position out in the public domain, hopefully there’s going to be a positive resolution to the matter. This kid is talented for sure, by the way, I’ve seen him play twice already for Shiva, surely this isn’t stipulated in his contract?

  38. Kester Lendor, Daniel was the family’s selected representative. That should be enough! As I mentioned before, nobody from the family complained then or in the 6 months since he signed. We have met with the agent, and explained that we would deal with any club who Levi wanted to join. We have met with Levi’s parents who are very nice people and who want the best for their son. We advised them to talk to several agents to decide which one would be best to represent their son. We also added that we felt that a permanent move overseas would be wrong for Levi at this point, but that we had spoken with several clubs with regards to future moves. The only poaching, if any, is being carried out by the agents. If Levi is a free agent, he can join another club, if not, he must wait for the transfer window. Obviously, the agents don’t want to wait!

  39. Kev, the article said he was accompanied by his brother for the signing and in my previous post I said if his brother is his court appointed legal guardian then whatever he signed is valid. From the article, there is no indication that this was the case and it appears that his momma is of sound body & mind so I’m not sure why she couldn’t avail herself to such an important development in the kid’s life. Whichever way this goes, I strongly suggest that all parties meet privately legal reps included to see if there’s a win win solution to this situation. Because on the surface and from the posts it appears as if CFC stalked and poached the teenager, used his brother (who’s employed with CFC) dangle some cash in their faces to get him to sign a contract, then 4 months later try sell him off for a profit. So Tony is correct it could be PR nightmare.

  40. Anthony Sherwood, I agree, but this is bigger than just one player or one club. Contracts need to be respected or professional football will become destabilized. We adhere to FIFA rules and guidelines which are accepted globally. Our view was that Levi needs a year of professional football with no additional stresses such as being homesick, change of diet, different climates and language etc. We said this to his parents. Sending a young boy overseas is potentially hazardous. Even if he has a return ticket, that ticket can be cancelled at any time leaving the player stranded. That’s why I believe that any such move should be arranged by the club. As for compensation, that can only come into effect if a club receives a transfer fee for a player. But saying that, Central has already donated footballs to Siparia Spurs and to other clubs where players have moved from. We also involved some of the Tobago clubs in the Walsall visit as we obtained several players from them.

  41. This is some interesting reading

  42. Kevin, this could be a PR nightmare potentially if not handled properly…

  43. Just to clarify, a 16 year old can sign a contract as long as a parent or guardian also signs, which was the case with Levi. FIFA has a “player passport” system which documents the player’s development. When a club receives a transfer fee, a percentage based on a specific formula is owed to the developmental clubs. At this point, Central F.C. have not received $1 in transfer fees, so how we can be accused of not sharing anything with clubs, I don’t know.

  44. Lasana what is interesting is that the Clubs claim so much credit and always want a piece of the pie but we in the Schools and the SSFL get no credit. Do the clubs ever offer to assist Schools in the area? And I say Schools not players, or do they just wait to see talent then act?
    I spoke to a club official about an academy, sent my resume but no reaction not even a “don’t call us we will call you.” Just interested in the PR and the PROFIT. I see players join clubs as youth players and move to the adult ranks with the same technical problems they started with so they have not developed in the club in football.

  45. Smh., when would these folks get ah clue., we spoke about this 5yrs ago., no grass roots, no plan, no $$$.

  46. This will be a test case for years to come I think.

  47. I think no matter how you look at this Central FC is irresponsible to not ensure that the parents didn’t sign the contract so whatever contract they hold is null and void! The brother is not a legally appointed representative

  48. And there’s Brent Sancho in a money dispute again. Hmmmm

    • So, again, Sancho is criticised for having the guts to stand up for right over wrong? Steven, you saying that Jack Warner/TTFF do not have to respect contracts and now neither do players or agents. But I bet you expect your employer to honour your contract, right? As for this nonsense “Central FC is irresponsible to not ensure that the parents didn’t sign the contract so whatever contract they hold is null and void! The brother is not a legally appointed representative” If a player and his family select a family member to represent them, what should we do? Put them on a lie detector? Waterboard them? What if Daniel had been a sports lawyer, would we still say no and insist on a parent? What happens if the parents are not well educated and don’t understand? That’s ok to get them to sign? Central F.C. followed a correct procedure. FACT. Everything that followed involving school football and the agent was incorrect.

  49. For the betterment of the youths and T&T football on a whole.

  50. Surely an experienced Agent will be doing the negotiating.

  51. I have had the opportunity to coach and interact with two of these guys then pro league clubs snatch them up with little or no regard for the community club. Central fc have also tried to recruit players with no mention of compensation. They ‘borrow the players to play in the youth pro league with the promise that when the efa starts the players would be released. This doesn’t happen. It’s a case of a bigger team taking advantage of a small team. But what goes around comes around. How can central fc demand developmental fees while also admitting the player don’t train with the team and have not played with them. Few if any pro team have their own academy they adopt community teams in order to fulfill the youth pro league obligations. Anyway congrats to Jesus and Neveal and the other guys and I hope this conflict ends

  52. I am not football guru. But that would be my concern Lasana Liburd 16yr old negotiating???

  53. No Pro League club wants to hold players back. Selling players is in the best interest of the club too.
    It is just a matter of price and where.
    At 16, it isn’t last chance saloon for him. And Central says it has things lined up too.
    I think the sticking point would be whether the contract is valid. And under what circumstances can a 16 year old sign a deal.

  54. I think if if the player is talented and can benefit from the expertise of playing for a foreign club they should not be held back. I do agree that their education must be a part of the contract. There are many clubs Barca for example which have a youth arm and i’m sure education is not sacrificed. Our coaches here can only carry them so far and if they show talent from a young age i say let them develop it as your time as a sportsman is limited. One would hope that when they make their riches that their would be someone to give them sound advice regarding securing their future financially.

  55. Seeing the $$ signs is tempting but really have to think about all of life. There are injuries (think of Marvin Phillips) and after all the money think about inflation. 5 million today will not have the same weight in 5-10yrs. I know clubs have something to gain too. But we have to see lives and not just $$.

  56. I think the minor should 1. Be allowed to complete school before leaving. Or 2. Be allowed to complete school in the country where the contract is to be delivered. 3. Even if 18yrs there should be some parental requirement the majority of 18yr olds are not mature enough to fully comprehend all the ramifications even if explained by a lawyer. 4. When I think of 4 I will post it.

  57. It is true that moving towards does not mean banned yet. Gabrielle Gellineau, what do you think of the contract? Would love to hear from non-football people too on the issue regarding a minor who is also a Form Five student. Patricia Worrell? Debbie Espinal? Anyone?

  58. Money, money money money! This is where this confusion started and will end. Sad but true. I really hope the best decision is made with the child’s best interest at heart. 16 years old he’s just a child. I really don’t know which side of the fence to sit on this one. We have to be very careful or we can have the Trinidadian Freddy Adu! He needs to be where he can develop and become the next great Trinidadian footballer. If we take money out of the equation(wishful thinking). Where will he develop into a great pro/role model for other young players like himself?

  59. Lochan yes but who is going to ask because they say they have a club but when fifa ask for documentation for data base.of players these small clubs or grass roots dont have it and thats where the problem lies…players played for 3, 4 or five teams so its all over the place…we need to get order in the organizations …this happens all over the caribbean …in europe professional sports are hundreds of years old and we 15 years of professional football are now starting to see the problems…but can we get serious administrators to make that difference to change the game and not just ripping off the system and riding into the sunset without any care for our young ones

  60. I agree. .its something that the ttfa, pro leagues, we’ll can’t say a players union because that I guess was set up for personal promotions of a few.. but secondary schools football league need to sit down and have serious discussions on football and the challenges. ..not just bullshit talk but conversations that can chart the way forward…like people are afraid to have frank discussions and make strong decisions and always in the end the players suffer….and oh semi pro league …..why cant we have this…

  61. I don’t think our grass roots clubs are aware; but FIFA law states that a compensation [development fee] % of sale/contract must be given to the ‘development’ club. This process continues with each possible sign on until the player passes age 21 or 23.

  62. Gordon Pierre, good observation. Attempts have been made from the inception of pro-football here to short circuit the development process by recruiting. These clubs need to invest the requisite time in the players from within the communities that they operate out of. Let us be reminded that some of the best players from our generation did not come thru a pro_league system. They were developed in their communities and coaching schools and we’re better players than what we have now. Some went on to play at the highest levels. Dwight yorke, Latas, Marcelle, Nakhid, Elcock, Stern are some e.gs.

  63. Earl, I think u know how that goes here, parent/s under pressure to maintain the household and all they see is an opportunity to ease the financial burden on their purse and betterment for “meh chile”. Does not change the fact that the laws says a person under the age of 18 does not have the capacity to enter into a contract. I’m not sure what happens as it is said his mother was present in subsequent meetings. I can be guided on that.

  64. I was trying hard not to put my 2 cents but everybody is tip toeing around d real issue here. These por league clubs in T&T does nothing, absolutely nothing to develop players, encourage them to sign contracts without advise or a consenting adult around and demands so much of them. & yes Gordon Pierre u are right nothing is given to d community teams for the work they put out on these players. It is not crying sour grapes because I feel good when I see our young players moving on but the playing field must be level.

  65. Agreed most teams have academies now so they do their development. ..and why not if a small club develops a player and a pro league club wants that player…they can agree on fee…u see everyone wants to survive. ..but who is willing to put the out the financing for the players when they are very young…hmmmm

  66. So this is a very interesting convo one i look forward to see the end result

  67. Remember attuala with jabloteh and trendsetters hawks? The majority of this u 20 team my be attached to proleague teams who have nothing to do with their development and their community teams are not given even balls, bibs and cones to continue d work

  68. This is a very important conversation bc in trinidad d majority of development work is not done by d proleague team but by community teams d proleague team pick up these player late and then demand developmental fees

  69. I have a strong feeling that Siparia Spurs and Shiva Boys HC will also challenge Central FC (maybe a birdie whispered it me) as no mention is being made of development fees to the entities are responsible for his development.

  70. True brian…most important

  71. At the end of the day I just hope the warring parties dont lose sight of what should be the PRIMARY focus which is what is BEST for the youth!

  72. True…but why did the parents knowing that allowed the older brother to go through with this and also the parents in questions like Harrison did say have been to meetings without any problems…is it a catch
    …?the players have been to meetings like this before iam sure ….just be careful. …when u to negotiate get your parents to be there words of advice….

  73. Well its high on europeans football body agenda..dont think it is as yet

  74. 16 year Olds in Trinidad & Tobago do not have the capacity to enter into contracts. That is the law. If he did sign anything or was accompanied by anyone who is not a parent or legal guardian that (whatever was signed) is null and void.

  75. Moving towards means it isn’t banned yet, right?

  76. Fifa is moving towards banning third party ownership.

  77. What a mess!! I don’t know where to settle my thoughts on this one but I do hope an amicable resolution is found soon although it seems unlikely without outside help. Smh

  78. Interesting Situation too bad the “innocent” may feel the brunt but 3rd party ownership should be stopped especially when pro league teams rarely has an opportunity to benefit financially from these moves

  79. Interesting. …agents are important yes…but why agents trying to buy out players contracts and promising players the world which some of them never delivers….the same issues that the European football president michel platini is trying his utmost to stop..third parties…buyers…we have to educate the parents public, clubs at large….these are very interesting times…and the problems through school football and professional football…open forum now lasana hmmm

  80. Both sides of the Levi Garcia tug-of-war make interesting arguments, but I guess it will come down to the validity of his contract with Central FC. Either that, or as Lasana say, some compromise will have to be made. Of course, money is central (no pun intended) to this saga.

  81. Levi Garcia isn’t the first player they have stopped from going abroad Jamal jack ,Jason Marcano was stop with there move to Vietnam the reality is Garcia isn’t a central development player he is a Siparia spurs development player I hope he gets his chance to shine in Europe

    • Adrian, those guys were under contract to Central F.C. If players are allowed to simply terminate contracts anytime they want to, professional football would fall apart. Why are you calling our name? Why not Chelsea, Barcelona, Man Utd? You don’t think players there want to change clubs? Nobody forced Marcano or Jackie to sign with Central. But once they did, they knew the terms. And remember, we can’t sign players outside of transfer windows. As for development, we haven’t been allowed to develop him yet! But, he was available and he decided to join Central. We had a developmental plan in place.

  82. Let d boii go man he cud make it out there

  83. Maybe, Pro League and TTFA should consider a different policy approach for minors, and kids in secondary schools? No professional contracts until they have left school, and certainly contracts should be signed by a parent or a legal guardian seem reasonable, once a kid is under 18. Third party ownership is contentious, but still legal, so it’s a non-issue, in my opinion.

  84. Hi guys Earl i think at some point collectively we need to tell these third parties to stop coming here to rape our clubs and profit from it. The excitement of going to play in Europe is too much for a young player and his family to ignore. The hype created by the millions spent on marketing gives an unfair advantage to Europe. The exchange rate will sometimes triple a young players earnings and at the end of the day it all comes down to dollars and cents. Individually each club has to do the “business” of football to suite themselves, but if one day we could realize that we are all one and tell these scouts “NO” they will have no choice to to apply best practices. OK, Garcia just joined Central agents claiming foul, but they want the players to join them what did they do to develop the youth? six and two threes. Hey give onto Caesar that is of Caesar. Give us the value man if there is a ten percent down the road let us here have a piece of the pie.

  85. I hope these young men are treated fairly and make the best of the opportunity

  86. Interesting …always want to give my take on these issues…player, club, contracts, agents, and how people put so much into the players heads …..then they dont want to play for their clubs…its interesting because we had our experiences with the garcias good luck to all the boys…but give respect to the clubs to…if we do not sit and understand the business of the sport a club wont make a cent from the sales…the European just like they did back in the early years will give us nothing and football will never prosper…things have to be done the right way…seat discuss and negotiate. ..more soon

  87. And there we go again lasana…

  88. Mr Sosa says that Central has done nothing to develop Levi Garcia? Well, the whole point of signing Levi was to develop him. We had a developmental plan, which we discussed with Levi & his parents. That was to play a full season in a professional league, play in the Caribbean Club Championships, spend a couple of weeks overseas – not on trial, but to train and acclimatise to overseas professional football – and another 10 days with a decent UK club in the Summer. It was our opinion, which we shared with his parents, that leaving these shores at age 16 may not be the best option for him -not even as a footballer-but as a young man. He would be much more grounded by remaining in T&T instead of playing academy football in Europe. The only reason Levi Garcia hasn’t yet played for Central F.C. is because we released him to the national U20’s and he never reported back for training, but instead went to play school football. So, Mr Sosa, why do you feel that you deserve a fee? You have done nothing to develop Levi. All you have done is caused conflict between him and his club and lost him a spot on the Men’s senior national team. Our Under 20’s have a great opportunity approaching, yet 4 of them will not be preparing by playing and training with their professional teams, instead, they will be disorientated and, perhaps, disappointed after traveling around Europe. I cannot see any interest in the player’s here, just their fees. Wouldn’t a decent U20 tournament and a decent spell in a professional league give these players a better chance of a move? Are you really thinking of the players? In which case, why the rush and why doi the players have to be signed to your friends company? Why is 3rd party ownership necessary, when that alone will turn many clubs away?
    Both Levi and Nathanial Garcia are very nice kids and a credit to their parents. Mr & Mrs Garcia have always had a cordial relationship with Central F.C. They are supporting their son, which is natural, but this just shows how an agent can unsettle a decent relationship. Unless I am mistaken, any transfer of registration requires the selling club to agree. So, any deal would need Central F.C.’s agreement. Of course, we would be happy for Levi to advance his career, but there is another issue that Mr Sosa has not considered. Coach Vranes had decided that Levi would be a key component in our starting line up. By releasing him mid season, we would have lost an exciting attacking option. We cannot sign any new players until January, so our team will now be weakened. Mr Sosa’s smash and grab raid on T&T football’s most sparkling jewels, will do far reaching damage to T&T football, with a practice that FIFA intend to outlaw in the next 3-4 years. (see http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/29373456)

  89. While football is a business, agents more often than not, don’t have players interest at heart. Its would be a great opportunity for the players to go to Europe, but is it really great given the recent situation where players left our shores and wasn’t paid for their services!

  90. Seems like growing pains for the Pro League. The clubs will learn valuable lessons in contract law and negotiating with agents.
    Hopefully all parties would emerge from this with some satisfaction although it is hard to see how at the moment. Someone will have to either lose this war or bend.

  91. Its time the TTpro league put rules and regulations in place to govern and prevent situations like these. Wasn’t there a ” Players Association” formed some time ago? This whole situation is unprofessional.

    • Jevon, there are globally accepted rules in place. In this instance, the agent is trying to circumvent these rules. However, the ultimate test is the FIFA TMS system which all international transfers must go through. If a player is registered by a club, the player cannot be registered by a new club without the previous club’s co operation. The unprofessional element in this instance is the agent disrespecting the club’s contract with the player. And remember, Levi signed with Central in March, this agent has only known Levi for 3 or 4 weeks!

  92. In a country such as ours where the illiteracy rate is quite high and we all know football is a game of the masses, there will always be situations such as these. Agents are always gonna hustle – that’s their job. But at least clubs are going to be more stringent to make sure everything is watertight in their contracts in the future. As for Garcia i wish him luck but Shiva Boys over a Pro League club?

  93. Hi hi lasana….wooow amazing to hear about these situations….smh….u need to have a television programn to educate the public…and players and clubs…john williams always gets pressure for trying to safe gaurd clubs interest and players ….now central is in it welcome to the world of agents , third parties, and willing and dealings of agents…the game is as interesting as ever… will comment more on this later…