“I would like to share my thoughts, especially, at this time when a player, namely, Jan-Michael Williams, in his lack of wisdom and understanding can boldly make statements about the Honourable Minister of Sport and the Sport Ministry…”
The following statement from former Trinidad and Tobago football icon and current national youth team coach Russell Latapy is in response to criticism of Sport Minister Darryl Smith attributed to Central FC and Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams:
For a long time I’ve stood by and listened to some of the younger players voice their opinions regarding the game of football. I would like to share my thoughts, especially, at this time when a player, namely, Jan Michael Williams, in his lack of wisdom and understanding can boldly make statements about the Honourable Minister of Sport and the Sport Ministry.
Firstly, Acknowledgement comes with Achievement! The type of achievement required to be successful in football is playing at a high level, motivating other players, and building team spirit and camaraderie for your team and country while working tirelessly to be at the top of the CFU and Concacaf. It is also taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming others.
Secondly, If you want acknowledgement you do not need to ask for it. Acknowledgement involves playing professionally for an extended period in a league that is considered a top professional league and not just for a few months.
So kid, my advice to you is: talk less, defend more and I look forward to you being part of a successful National Team.
Editor’s Note: Jan-Michael Williams subsequently said his criticism, which was published in a Central FC release, was “incorrectly interpreted” and he might have been “[used] by others to get their various points across.”
The Central FC managing director Brent Sancho was Darryl Smith’s immediate predecessor as Sport Minister.
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Nigel S. Scott, this has been an interesting argument but one based on media led misconceptions. When Central were formed, we went looking for sponsors in the Point Lisa’s area. A friend in the Central football community introduced us to Krishna Lalla. He admired Sancho’s fight against Warner (as he too had battles with him) and wanted to develop SIS community projects. We produced a proposal and won their sponsorship. Like most people at the time, we hadn’t really heard of SIS. I believe Lalla was instrumental in recommending Sancho for the Ministers role as it had remained vacant for 6 months after Anil was sacked. While we agreed to step away from Central while in the Ministry, and met SIS handle the administrative and management of the club, they were not intended to be owners. The sponsorship figure was constant and agreed and was not dependent on how many contracts were won. Also, the UNC was never involved. We then approached Bankers Insurance who were interested in our youth programme. After some discussions they wanted the front of the jersey and we chose them to be main sponsors. They had to pull out in March 2016 due to the recession. You didn’t mention Jabloteh being sponsored by CLICO or Joe Public who was sponsored by Warner! There was never a war chest, just an agreed sponsorship. Central would not have any debts if the prize money from the last three years had been received. However, the last 12 months has been a daily battle to pay salaries and expenses.
Yes Kevin Harrison, I’m sure the relationship with SIS was entirely coincidental from inception and innocent throughout Central’s existence as you describe. Lalla recommended Sanko for the Ministerial job while you both *cough* stepped away *cough* from running Central as you and Sanko went on the MoS payroll. In return you both ‘suggested’ SIS take over administration of the club, for safekeeping no doubt, until you returned from your sojourn on the public payroll. It certainly could have gone down like that. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
And to add to that Nigel S. Scott, the moon landing was a CIA movie and there really is a “cough” Bermuda Triangle where planes and boats are abducted by aliens. Stranger things have been conjured in the minds of conspiracy theorists. Someone once told me that two and two equals five. I just left him in his straight jacket! Remember the famous Jack Nicholson statement in A Few Good Men? “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth”
National teams take advantage of the fit players produced by pro clubs so no need to train as often. Also, they get to use the best facilities on a more regular basis. I’m not sure how they’re at a disadvantage at all when compared to clubs..
The comparison isn’t to clubs in the aggregate… it’s to Central FC in this particular instance.
Nigel, I know when someone believes something and doesn’t get that being on the ground helps to clarify a point then so be it.. one day you may come for a season and understand the pro league teams are all in heavy debt.. on a larger per capita scale in some instances than the TTFA
Brian I don’t doubt that Pro League teams are in debt… I am even willing to concede that they are “all” in debt. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to discussing Central’s accomplishments over fellow Pro League teams, there has really been just one team with the financial clout as Central, and that is W Connection. I don’t have particular insight on Central’s finances… nor W Connections… maybe you do, being there on the ground. A safe assumption can be made given SIS’ cozy relationship with the UNC gov’t that some of the billions in public funds ended up bankrolling the SIS-owned Central FC. As I said, this isn’t about Pro League teams in the aggregate… we’re not discussing the accomplishments of Pro League “teams.”
SIS and their money has been gone a little while. They have won since then my friend.
My use of the word “warchest” was deliberate. Not all the vestigial advantages of the previous ownership would disappear with a transfer on paper.
As I mentioned, they have had issues making payroll, just like any other team.. So the “war chest” you mention, may not be as big as you imagine
I’m sure it’s tapering off by now Brian, but the ‘vestigial advantages’ I mentioned elsewhere likely has kept them competitive for longer than they otherwise would have been. The alternative is to accept that Central is just that more ‘special’ than the rest of the PFL.
K man. I am glad for any team that gets corporate sponsorship in this country. By the way, just because a team has funds doesn’t make it a surety to win anything.. Not saying they got as much as you believe, because I don’t know. As you know, no one outspends the Yankees and yet, they haven’t had much success recently.. I am getting old so good night man..my bed calling me
Lol… you must be really getting old if you turning in at 8 pm, laters (y)
How are you comparing Central finances to TTFA? I cannot so you’re ahead of me there
The comparison is sufficiently laid out above. Forget the respective sizes in budget, the TTFA might get more from CONCACAF/FIFA but it also has larger expense items. Also, look at the issue of financial stability. The TTFA for the past 4-5 years has been plagued by financial instability, sporadic funding, cashflow issues etc. Central didn’t have to worry about that with Krishna Lalla covertly underwriting their operating costs.
I don’t think TTFA is less well off and you do. Being here and seeing makes me understand a bit better, I believe and it sounds like you disagree
Brian how ‘well off’ was the TTFA in the post-Warner, Tim Kee era when Sancho himself was putting the organization through hell just to get funding? Compare that to the warchest that Central was likely accumulating through it’s ownership at the time.
I was lucky enough to have managed in the pro league and know teams who can barely afford to pay players and get buses to transport teams to games. Don’t be fooled by what you read. The “top” teams are also in heavy debt man..
You keep talking about “pro league” teams… this is about Central specifically.
Central has had their challenges meeting payroll. All the teams do.. Whether they’d care to admit it or not Is another issue.
Central has had their challenges meeting payroll. All the teams do.. Whether they’d care to admit it or not Is another issue.
Which probably contextualizes this past season’s accomplishments, but were discussing the “three peat” are we not? Don’t get me wrong, it’s an impressive feat viewed in isolation. But in light of the totality of the circumstances… they should be dominating the PFL.
I think you’re overestimating how much you believe they received from SIS, but who knows..
Lol… okay. We’ll definitely have to agree to disagree on that one.
National teams face challenges quite unlike club teams, particularly when you’re talking about Caribbean teams. For one there is the lack of continuity that we ourselves complain about on the national level. Resources might also vary, I don’t think there can be much argument that Central FC has enjoyed better financial and administrative stability than the TTFA.
To elaborate on the ‘continuity’ argument, how often to national team players get to train with each other, and with the coaching staff? How often has morale been affected by administrative snafus, or pay issues? How often when players have been called up have they been able to travel far enough in advance as to be adequately rested and prepared for national duty? I could go on and on.
Compare and contrast with Central FC, and the advantage they were able to carve out for themselves through their affiliation with both the disgraced SIS and the former UNC government. Both of these relationships in all likelihood resulted in financial benefits to Central that other clubs were not able to enjoy. I remember Harrison boasting about Central’s ability to attract sponsors such as SIS, implying that there was something special about Central’s efforts compared to other Pro League clubs. Of course it later all came out in the wash that SIS (which controversially, and in some cases illegally gained millions in gov’t contracts under the UNC) not only owned Central FC, but were de facto running the club as well. So armed with this financial advantage it really shouldn’t be that surprising that they have dominated the Pro League largely since their inception. Like I said, big fish in a little pond. If that impresses you Brian then good for you, but as you said… context matters.
The Caribbean Cup title is noteworthy, that I would give them… but Caribbean football on the whole is poor, so there’s that.
I think all accomplishments could be celebrated and recognized. No matter who thinks they’re worthy or not.. Winning the Pro League three times in a row doesn’t just mean navigating reasonably tough opponents. It also means a team has gotten through financial uncertainty, inconsistent officiating, tough stop start scheduling and playing fields of varying quality. It isn’t as easy as it may seem. To win the CFU club championship on more than one occasion even more admirable to many. By the way, some would argue, it should be easier to win CFU chamoionships ias a National team than as a club team. As I said, context is important..
Many Caribbean clubs are basically the national team! When we beat the Guatemalan champions, they had 9 national players!
This conversation really says a lot. Trinis are crazy people. So Jan should shut up cuz he performs in a small league and Latas play for Porto so until Jan win the CL he can’t talk football even though he captained the national team just like Latas
No, not ‘shut up’… just don’t carry on as he did about being slighted when his accomplishments are just that, slight.
Mediocrity reigns in my country.Professionalism is trumped by an ”ah reach attitude”.
Claine Plummer. Costa Rican goalkeepers instructor . – ” In Trinidad the population is 1.3 million and they all are coaches.” #Proven
Are we seriously comparing national accomplishments to club accomplishments?
I have the greatest of respectvfor Latas but that was a pappyshow article …throwing yuh weight around. Personally I not begging anyone for acknowledgement but even if he disagreed didnt have to roll like that. Latas you’re a legend but yuh not so big that a man cyah say “F*** you!!” …remember that …kid!!
Cyar agree with Latas on that one. First of all, why does one have to achieve or get accolades in order to voice an opinion? You have to earn the right to speak your mind? Come on!
The ‘achievement’ talk was in the context of Williams carrying on like what Central FC did was so monumental. That was Latas way of subtly (and correctly) telling him he hasn’t achieved anything of note to be crying about ‘recognition’ the way he did.
Central FC did something that was never accomplished before in Pro League history. It was worthy of recognition.
Whether Jan-Michael or Central FC ought to have publicly called out the Sport Minister is another story. But it was definitely an accomplishment.
“Pro League history…” well that certainly says a lot. Central FC calling out the Minister is entirely in keeping with the character of the club’s management.
The powers that they think you have Mr Minister…
Actually, what says a lot is your attitude towards professional football in T&T. And after the abuse fired at Sancho when he was minister, I feel he’s justified more than most to openly criticize poor performance.
There it is! Finally! Good night!
Do you attend Pro League games Nigel? Just curious
Not sure which ‘Nigel’ you’re responding to.
Sorry, Nigel S. Scott. I know the other Nigel dont miss much
Well if directed at me, no I don’t attend Pro League games… but you likely know this already. Not sure what relevance that has on the conversation though.
Interestingly Central FC has two Caribbean titles. But T&T has not won a Caribbean title since 2001. And they were eliminated from the Caribbean Cup in the group stage while Latapy was coaching…
So why shouldn’t Jan be proud to be a Caribbean champion at club level? It’s still something.
Four World Cups from 2001 – 2009 (one we hosted). Two Caribbean Titles by TT Club over the last eight years. How do we flip the script guys
i didn’t know but it puts your comments in context..
Brian we know each other from your DC days, though you’ve evidently forgotten. This has little bearing on whether I presently attend Pro League games or not, but it gives rise to a rebuttable presumption. That aside, me attending or not attending Pro League games hardly contextualizes my opinion of Central’s accomplishments. They are the big fish in a very small pond, that is all.
Ok.. hey.. I never assume. Has served me well..
2 Caribbean titles in last 8 years? How about W. Connection, Jabloteh, Defence Force and Joe Public? I believe Pro League teams have won something like 12 titles in 17 years.
Go easy KH, was just comparing the two periods as you mentioned the two Caribbean Titles. No world cup qualification within the second period. Was just food for thought and discussion…How do we flip the script?
Timothy Rochford, my apologies. Automatically on the defensive lol. To be fair the difference is not here, it’s in Europe. Before 2010 it was a lot easier to get EU work permits. So more of our players were in decent leagues and this benefitted our national team. After 2010 our players couldn’t get out so we retained better quality in the pro league. As mentioned elsewhere, successful club football does not necessarily convert to successful international football. One could argue that Central FC could fare better against Guatemala than an all local national team, but they would not perform better against Mexico than a national team including our foreign based.
Now that’s an opinion. I guess we can argue that foreign players also replaced local players who went abroad. And the level of professionalism were somewhat improved in some teams.
Well said Nicholas Jackman
I really hoped that people where wrong when they said the reason we are so underdeveloped is because we fight our own. Instead of help each other. Smh that’s why poverty struck Haiti is a more feared team in concacaf than us now
Crabs in a barrel * dick measuring competitions.
As a people we seem to lack the ability to diffuse a situation. We seem to have a penchant to escalate? Why is that? What exactly was there to gain by addressing the gentleman as “kid”? IMHO it did little else but cede Mr Latapy’s moral authority here.
Latapy was up 1-0 and threw away the game in injury time!
Dear Lasana. Mr. Latapy’s response here also lacks leadership.
Why address the gentleman as “kid”?
Just as you fight hate with love, fight dark with light, you fight insubordination with respect.
The bit about Jan-Michael not making it abroad too was unnecessary and irrelevant.
Can’t we all just get along ? #AlwaysWantedToSayThat
Too many egos in this country… fingers pointing everywhere..and we wonder why we are where we are internationally..
Yup. No unity
Guys come on man
Why we always seem to divert a general discussion into a personal attack just to get our point across. So much information and ideas could be shared and benefitted from if we can just keep it civil and agree to disagree at times.
After a season they back in the pro league
Not no shit contract in Vietnam or loan deal in usl or Finland
I have placed 5 players into Europe and helped them get house car and money to take Care of their kids and family and over 20 more get opportunities
Wow! Now I understand the massive contribution you have made to football.
And over 40 us scholarships and counting saving parents millions of dollars
Congratulations, Dion. What I never understood about your constant attacks on Central and Sancho is if you despise them and the Pro League so much, why did you interview for the managers job at Central?
you guys seem to thrive on personal attacks while losing the purpose of the discussion. We are all on the same side guys albeit with different viewpoints.
Dion, aside from the racism, that comment sums up the kind of attitude that will endure football in T& T will not progress. So Latas or any foreigner can speak freely in UK, but I can’t in T&T? You are correct, I did sell insurance, because that’s what financial advisers do. I was employed with PFA Financial Services. If you knew any quality footballers they would confirm that. What I don’t understand is that you try to work in football yet you continuously attack the country’s top football club on public forums yet in private you want to be best pals? So last week when I linked your white boss with a PFL club, you were quite happy to deal with me. Oh yeah, what have I achieved? How about something never done before? Three titles in a row! Or how about our policy of fielding 100% local players? Or how about 2 CFU titles? Or how about the scholarships we’ve placed? Or the players sent to USA or Europe? Or how about rescuing your boys stranded in London?
What players the ones who was hungry in Belgium with a club gone bankrupt a few years ago you guys were the same one’s who outsmarted a 16 year old into a contract the same 16 year old who trained for a few months never got a boots etc but all of a sudden value rose to ,6 figures you never developed this kid just scheme him and his family cause they were n nieve about professional football thank God he met up with me
Which players in Europe and USA you talking about hungry usl contracts Ricardo John right now Spanish don’t even know if his organs are sold or not he there clueless
Interesting you mentioned Spanish.
Calm down Dion Sosa. I have to step in once we get to the “white boy” and “black boy” talk. That’s not appropriate and carry chat in the wrong direction.
Took long Lasana Liburd.
Sorry. I’ve been away from my laptop for LONG periods Timothy. Lol. People do have to tag me if there is something I need to address. I’ve missed loads in the last week!
OK next time I will say Creole
We don’t really need a colour commentary at all or to know the race to be honest Dion. Just debate the strengths and weaknesses of what he is saying.
OK no problem
General discussion. Not sure how they reach PFA, London, I do this, I do that….Sounded childish at best.
What was the initial post about?
Hahaha. About whether Latapy was right to chastise Jan-Michael in the way he did. And whether Jan-Michael was correct or naive to speak up in the first place…
Now I remember! Thanks.
Dion Sosa, just so I understand your point fully, what have you personally achieved for T&T football by comparison. Coz it’s easy to run down people, but it’s a lot harder to emulate them.
Was that a warning shot across the bow? It’s interesting Dwight’s preface though…
“I would like to share my thoughts, especially, at this time when a player, namely, Jan-Michael Williams, in his lack of wisdom and understanding can boldly make statements about the Honourable Minister of Sport and the Sport Ministry”. In other words, turn a blind eye to incompetence, malfeasance, and blatant disregard. It is not your place to express your opinion and vocalize your concerns especially if your comments are directed at an honorably titled official. You just play ball or else!
I think that’s how we roll here Kenneth. Latapy not Dwight.
But I agree. We always encourage people to stay in the box or else.
Actually, let me not ascribe that to Trinidad. That’s what people expect from athletes all over the world.
That’s unfortunate. Regardless, I still have renewed hope in the change of Soca Warriors’ coaching. I hope our sportsmen and women, current and future, can by some miracle improve and excel under the current Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs leadership.
Well said Russel these people have not accomplished shit but always talking winning TT pro league is nothing when you can say you’ve win something of meaning abroad then you can earn the right to say things
Jamaal, we wouldn’t put out statements that are not approved. So what is the role of the Minister if not to promote sporting excellence?
Is Jamal the one to whom you should be addressing that question, KH, you who were so close to the seat of sporting power?
Might that question not be better answered if it were addressed to someone rather closer to home? Just asking…
But it seems like the player did not make the statements after all. And I do not agree that Central should make those statements either.
A player should not get involved in criticising a Sports Minister if that person chose not to send congratulatory message to his/ her club in my view.
Two times Caribbean club champion. At least 4 Pro League titles numerous cups and of course 60 plus international appearances. And he played in Europe.
Those are team accolades Kevin. What has he accomplished, that is what I believe the question was.
Wasn’t Williams shortlisted for the CONCACAF Goal keeper of the year award a couple years back? To be fair there isn’t much individual awards going around for domestic players in Trinidad
I’m not sure. Actually I don’t know of any of his personal accomplishments in goal.
If he wasn’t at the top of his game. All the “team” accolades wouldn’t be possible.
Kevin, exactly what are Jan’s accolades? This is an honest question because I don’t recall.
What is Daryl Smiths job other than to promote sport by recognizing excellence?
Jamaal, I don’t agree with these comments. Jan-Michael is at the top of his game both nationally and regionally. He cannot win any more accolades. It’s not his fault that the national team hasn’t achieved more. He’s literally given blood for his country. One thing I do agree with Russell about us that he shouldn’t have to ask for accolades. He’s earned them repeatedly. As a player, when you give 100%, when you keep winning, when you give blood for your country, when you have to take pay cuts and wait 3 years for your bonuses, why shouldn’t you speak out? Bro, you speak out when you feel ignored so why shouldn’t he? It must concern you when you’re trusted to develop our youths and the top goalkeeper in the Caribbean doesn’t even merit a pat on the back from the Minister of sport. Where’s the incentives for the youths?
Proper advice from someone with knowledge and experience
I agree Jamaal…..we as trinis dont always have to buy into every fight but we love to do it…
No disputing, Jamaal, that the advice is sound. My question is this: Does a national coach need a public forum to offer advice to a national player? What is lost if Latas calls up Jan-Michael and says exactly what he has written to him?
I submit that the answers to those two questions are really instructive…
I may have told him privately but icons in the game as geniuses in other field has an inimitable way of doing such things. Was my spelling correct?
Jamaal your way of telling him would have been better … right is right icon or no icon …stupidity or poor tact doesn’t get a pass because he was icon on the field. Maybe his inability to communicate his theories is why is current “coaching” career is less than ……. impressive ….. the irony is I count myself as one of his biggest fans hands down …
This advice should be copied to ALL our footballers.