Home / Volley / Global Football / Dear diary: Ex-T&T star, Lyndon Andrews, reveals how Ma Pau SC drove him from the game

Dear diary: Ex-T&T star, Lyndon Andrews, reveals how Ma Pau SC drove him from the game

“When Ma Pau decided to fold, it had a negative impact on me. This was my job; it was how I was earning a living. This was how I took care of my family so it put me in a very difficult position.

“It discouraged me from continuing as a professional football player.”

Versatile, quick, strong and skilful, the now 41-years-old Lyndon Andrews was one of the most gifted Trinidad and Tobago midfielders of his generation. At 19 years old, he started alongside icons Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and David Nakhid at the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament and went to over 40 National Senior Team caps during an extremely competitive era for the local game.

But, today, the former Holy Cross and St Mary’s College student gives a first-hand account of a darker period in his life. Why he left football, broken-hearted, at the age of 35, after a contract dispute with Ma Pau SC in 2011:

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Lyndon Andrews (left) tries to escape from Mexico midfielder Pavel Pardo during a Japan-Korea 2002 World Cup qualifier at the Azteca stadium, Mexico City on 8 October 2000. (Copyright AFP 2017/Ramon Cavallo)
Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Lyndon Andrews (left) tries to escape from Mexico midfielder Pavel Pardo during a Japan-Korea 2002 World Cup qualifier at the Azteca stadium, Mexico City on 8 October 2000.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Ramon Cavallo)

I signed for Ma Pau SC on the 10 December 2009 and the agreement had to remain in force until 31 December 2011. My employment with the club began on 1 February 2010 at an agreed fee of $8,000 per month from 1 February 2010 to 31 December 2011.

I was offered this contract by the then head coach, Michael McComie. I never had anyone look over the contract for me. I assumed that any club wanting to enter the T&T Professional League would have the necessary requirements to gain entry into league.

I joined Ma Pau because Mr McComie was going to become the new head coach of the club and he offered me a two-year contract with the club.

The opportunity to represent a relatively new club was appealing to me. I wanted to help this club establish its name and be very competitive. The duration of my contract was also a factor because you are mentally comfortable knowing you have job security for two years.

In our first year, we quickly established ourselves among the big boys in the Pro League. We competed very well and had a respectable sixth place finish in the League with victories over Jabloteh, W Connection, Caledonia AIA and even Defence Force, which surprised a lot of people—even the hierarchy of Ma Pau.

The coaching staff did a great job putting the team together and creating the right mixture of youth and experience.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Kevin Molino (right) hurdles a tackle against Panama during an international friendly in March 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Kevin Molino (right) hurdles a tackle against Panama during an international friendly in March 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Some of the experienced players were Anton Wolfe, Marc Leslie, René Britto, Shane Mathis and Shandell Samuel. And there were some very talented young players added such as Kevin Molino, Trevin Caesar, Mekeil Williams and Curtis Gonzales, who all eventually went on to represent the country at senior national football level.

My experience representing the club was very good up until they decided to close down and withdraw their franchise from the T&T Pro League. In the second year of my contract, the players were informed by the technical staff that the club was going to fold.

I had very little interaction with Ma Pau officials during my time at the club. I cannot give a specific reason as to why the club folded because I don’t know their reasons for making this decision.

In July 2011, the players were told that Ma Pau SC would not be taking part in the T&T Pro League season and, as a result, they would be giving us two months’ notice with pay for May and June 2011 for the non-continuance of our contracts. All the contracts were to expire 31 December 2011, so we had eight months left on our contracts.

The two months’ severance package were for months that they were already owing us, so technically they did not give us anything. The last time we were paid a salary was in April 2011 and we had to survive without a salary for two months—May and June 2011—and still continue to practice at least once or twice per week.

The contracted players’ stance was that we all agreed we would not accept the two months for non-continuance of our contracts. We were then asked to attend a meeting with Ms Sherry Persad, the Human Resource Manager at Ma Pau. The meeting was held at one of their offices on Independence Square in Port-of-Spain.

Photo: Ma Pau casino's human resource manager Sherry Persad (centre) presents Ma Pau SC jerseys to footballers Elton John (right) and Shane Calderon during a press conference at the Sweet Lime Restaurant on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook on 24 January 2012. (Copyright Trinidad Guardian/Anthony Harris)
Photo: Ma Pau casino’s human resource manager Sherry Persad (centre) presents Ma Pau SC jerseys to footballers Elton John (right) and Shane Calderon during a press conference at the Sweet Lime Restaurant on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook on 24 January 2012.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian/Anthony Harris)

She met with us individually and offered us this two months’ notice with pay but we had to agree to sign a document showing acceptance of the proposal.

Although we had all agreed that we would not accept this proposal, everyone but me accepted and signed. I don’t know why they had a change of heart but I was not willing to accept their offer of two months’ pay when I had eight months left on my current contract and Ma Pau were the ones who were breaching the contract.

I informed the CEO of the T&T Pro League, Mr Dexter Skeene.

We had a short conversation over the telephone and he told me that he would contact his lawyers concerning the matter. But they never tried to settle this matter. I had to try on my own to get this matter settled, so I acquired the services of an attorney and I took the matter to Mr Colin Selvon, who was willing to take it to the courts.

During his research and investigation, he found out that my contract with Ma Pau SC, the name carried in the contract documents instead of and on behalf of Ma Pau Sports Company Limited, was never registered as a legal entity. As such, we were left without anyone to bring before the court to answer my claim.

My attorney recognised Mr John Wallis as the CEO of Ma Pau and felt that he should be held responsible. Mr Selvon had a statement of case and claim form filed on the 28 November 2011, which was served by registered mail to Mr Wallis on the 28 February 2012.

On 9 May 2012, Ms Allana Rivas, attorney for Mr Wallis, wrote to my attorney acknowledging receipt of the Statement of Case and Claim Form against her client. I have a copy of this letter in my possession.

Photo: Sunny Group of Companies CEO John Wallis (centre) looks on as Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (left) and Ma Pau St Kitts and Nevis managing director, Fitz Fulton, exchange greetings on 20 April 2012.
Photo: Sunny Group of Companies CEO John Wallis (centre) looks on as Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (left) and Ma Pau St Kitts and Nevis managing director, Fitz Fulton, exchange greetings on 20 April 2012.

Ms Rivas’ response was that Ma Pau, the defendant in this matter, was an unincorporated association and, as such, was not in law regarded as a legal entity. As a result, it could not be made a party (defendant) to an action on the basis that an unincorporated association cannot, in itself, be sued.

She went on to say that it was in my best interest to withdraw the matter. Should I decide to proceed, she said, she had full instructions from Mr Wallis, her client, to file an application to have the statement of case struck out under Part 26.2 CPR. With costs!

When Ma Pau decided to fold, it had a negative impact on me. This was my job; it was how I was earning a living. This was how I took care of my family so it put me in a very difficult position. It discouraged me from continuing as a professional football player.

This setback was the main reason for my retirement from professional football.

It means so much to me to have this matter settled because Ma Pau were the ones responsible for breaching the contract and they should have paid off not just the remainder of my contract but the debt owed to all the contracted players; The TT Pro League should have done its necessary due diligence prior to any club entering the ranks of the Pro League because the legal status of any club should be the number one priority of the Pro League as it relates to the welfare of all footballers playing in the League.

How can a club in the TT Pro League fold and default on payment to players who had contracts and nothing happen as a result?

Ma Pau took a leave of absence for a few years only to work itself back within the fold of the TT Pro League last season—in a sponsorship deal with North East Stars—with all of these issues outstanding and unresolved.

Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jason Scotland (left) holds off Police FC midfielder Kenaz Williams in the First Citizens Cup semifinal on 27 November 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jason Scotland (left) holds off Police FC midfielder Kenaz Williams in the First Citizens Cup semifinal on 27 November 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I believe that the Pro League should have instructed Ma Pau to settle all debts at the time they decided to fold back in 2011.  The Pro League has, if not a legal obligation, at least a moral one to see that Ma Pau SC settle all their outstanding debts before they can regain any status and affiliation to and/or with the Pro League.

We had an agreement that any prize money would be shared among the players and this was never done. We won the Toyota Classic which, at the time, was worth TT$25,000.  It is, therefore, inconceivable that Ma Pau can now, unscathed and unpunished, seek to re-brand and promote itself on the backs of another Pro League club as Ma Pau Stars—without clearing off all unfinished business tied to its previous incarnation as Ma Pau SC.

It doesn’t matter if it’s sponsorship, full ownership or part ownership. This is just wrong to me. My attorney wrote Skeene about this but the matter remains unresolved.

In light of all the obstacles and challenges I was facing, I decided to instruct my attorney to contact Ms Persad on 19 December 2015 to accept the sum of TT$17,000 which was originally offered to me—that is two months’ pay for non-continuance of my contract—although I was entitled to the sum of TT$68,000, which represented payment for the eight months that were remaining on my contract.

Ms Persad was unwilling to pay even the two months’ salary which was originally offered to me. And Ma Pau still have not paid me.

Most people do not know that the life of a professional football in T&T is very difficult. It requires dedication, discipline, hard work, sacrifice and plenty patience and you have to spend time on your own working on your craft in order to become a better player.

Photo: Central FC captain Leston Paul (right) holds the 2015 Akeem Adams trophy for winning the final round. Teammate Ataulla Guerra (centre) lifts the Pro League trophy while league CEO Dexter Skeene looks on. (Courtesy Alllan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC captain Leston Paul (right) holds the 2015 Akeem Adams trophy for winning the final round.
Teammate Ataulla Guerra (centre) lifts the Pro League trophy while league CEO Dexter Skeene looks on.
(Courtesy Alllan V Crane/Wired868)

My advice to young players is to put God first in your life; that is the first and most important thing. To have the right attitude, you must have discipline and always try to have a good work ethic.

Before you sign any contract, before putting your signature down, be sure to have an attorney vet the contract with you, so you will avoid what I went through with Ma Pau.

I still hope that this stand-off with Ma Pau will be resolved as soon as possible and that no other player will have to go through what I have been through.

I retired from football in 2012. It was very difficult for me mentally to continue my career in football after my contract situation with Ma Pau.

How could I continue to ply my trade in the T&T Pro League?

To be honest, I really didn’t have any conversations with anyone before I announced my retirement. I was stunned to see that something like this could actually happen in the Trinidad and Tobago Professional League. To me, that was simply unbelievable.

I suddenly, completely unexpectedly, found myself unable to support my wife and daughter. Because I was now unemployed with no income, I couldn’t pay my car instalments and I couldn’t assist with the monthly bills and expenses. My wife had to bear all the expenses and I could make no contribution.

It goes without saying that this situation affected my family life.

Photo: Hibernian FC midfielder Lyndon Andrews (left) glides away from Guingamp’s Claude Michel during an exhibition match in Guingamp, France on 21 July 2001. (Copyright AFP 2017/Frank Perry)
Photo: Hibernian FC midfielder Lyndon Andrews (left) glides away from Guingamp’s Claude Michel during an exhibition match in Guingamp, France on 21 July 2001.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Frank Perry)

Things have not been easy for me since Ma Pau unceremoniously put me on the bread line but I have to thank God for life, health and strength.

I have been doing some work in my community in Red Hill, D’Abadie and my current focus is on coaching and trying to develop the youths in D’Abadie and environs.

Two years ago in 2015, I established my own football team, Red Hill FC. We have competed in the Eastern Football Association (EFA) for the past two years and, with God’s help, we shall be competing in some high-level competition for many years to come.

Career Highs

(a) I represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Under-14 Martinique Invitational Tournament in 1990. We emerged as champions of the competition and I was voted the Best Midfielder, Best Technician and Most Outstanding T&T Player.

(b) In 1996, at the age of 19, I earned my first senior cap when I was selected on the National Senior Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in California, USA.

(c) I signed with Hibernian FC in the Scotland Premier League and played there alongside compatriot Russell Latapy from 2000-2002.

(d) I was a member of the Joe Public side that was crowned champions of the TT Pro League in 2006 and qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League group stage in which we defeated Atlante FC of Mexico 1-0 in Mexico. That was definitely one of the highs in my career—perhaps the highest high.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Zoran Vranes (second from left in background) trains with the National Football Team during the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign. From left are: Russell Latapy, Brent Rahim, Dwight Yorke, Lyndon Andrews, Carlos Edwards and Wayne Lawson. (Copyright AFP2015/Juan Barreto)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Zoran Vranes (second from left in background) trains with the National Football Team during the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign.
From left are: Russell Latapy, Brent Rahim, Dwight Yorke, Lyndon Andrews, Carlos Edwards and Wayne Lawson.
(Copyright AFP2015/Juan Barreto)

Career Low

The way my career ended when I was contracted to Ma Pau SC was definitely the lowest point of my career. I had a lot of challenges and obstacles in my life as a pro but I viewed them as stepping stones to help me reach the next level.

I always used those negative experiences to help me to become stronger mentally.

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113 comments

  1. Did Ma Pau Stars receive a transfer fee for Muckette to a team in Portugal in 2015/2016? How could they not be a legal entity and receive that fee? Who received that transfer fee if they did not? I think those players have a case for compensation. Follow the money!

  2. In my humble opinion, Ma Pau defrauded the TT Pro League, all the players who signed contracts, and every stakeholder that got involved because of their participation in the TT Pro League! The fact that the organization’s name was utilized by persons within the hierarchy to get into agreements! Also, the TT Pro League has to take some blame for failing to do their due diligence. How can this not have repercussions??

  3. Kelvin is right football administration in T&T is quite incompetent. I think we are insulting Mickey Mouse to say they running it like one of his outfits. I watch Mickey Mouse clubhouse with my younger children and he is quite organised.? On a serious note the players themselves would have to establish a Players association by agreeing to pay a small fee from their salaries to subsidise cost for running the association to act on their behalf concerning contracts and any disputes. Don’t know how feasible that would be but at least it would show their intention to not be hoodwinked. They just need to come together this type of thing just feels like déjà vu. Smh.

  4. I feel for Lyndon, especially as a fellow HCC alumnus, but I believe he got faulty advice from his first attorney, me. Selvon.

  5. Lyndon Andrews was enormously talented.. a very good professional.. technically very very good.. two good feet, strong as a bull, quick with a good footballing brain. Too often our sportsmen and women are treated with such disdain. It’s beyond belief they have so far gotten away with it. It’s inexcusable for the Pro League to allow Mau Pau back in without settling all outstanding debt. But again, incompetence is the order of the day in Trinidad and Tobago. What sports administrators get away with is truly and ridiculously incredible. Most are just a bunch of incompetent dinosaurs with nothing but shit between their ears.

    • Lyndon Andrews was one of the most gifted players in a generation that had players like Arnold Dwarika, Jerren Nixon, Mickey Trotman and Evans Wise. I know you played with him for Zoran Vranes too.
      Ma Pau SC haven’t returned as a competing team yet. But I do feel more should have been done for the players by the administration too.

    • Kelvin Jack oh lawd ah begging you please just return to get started again nah man the Players Association and I know that you still have plenty responsibilties with your family over there but you don’t have to move back to our sweet country any time soon man, we will send the plane ticket whenever you have to come home to deal with these vultures eh, because they are really still taking the advantages of our players and it seems that it won’t be ending any time soon man. Them really good yes.

  6. Well have the players finally received all their monies owed by Central F. C. because it was stated that they haven’t been paid 3 months after the league concluded eh, and it was stated that they did receive the winnings for the last tournament that the club won eh Dennis Allen Them really good yes.

    • one setta bandit teams… play a few years and then fold up

    • The Central players are owed tens of thousands in bonuses on top of outstanding salaries.

    • And it seems that Central F. C. will definitely be folding since the majority of the players will be leaving to join up with their old Coach Terry Fenwick and I am hoping that they will get a good lawyer to represent them in order to get their well earned monies from Central F. C.. Them really good yes.

    • Central have signed some new talent. Seon Powers and Taryk Sampson among them. I understand Jason Marcano, Kaydion Gabriel, Kevan George and Nathaniel Garcia are still there. And Taryk John. It will be a tough season for them. But they don’t have to fold just yet.

    • Well that is really good news but the ex Minister of Sports really needs to get his acts together man and stop doing this madness to our players especially when he himself played the beautiful game professionally Steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

    • But wait it just now hit home about other players have signed with Central F. C. knowing that the club is owing tens of thousands of bonuses and outstanding salaries to the other players, someting is really wrong with some of our players, it seems that they really just want to play the beautiful game and even for free. steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

  7. all the smalltalk aside: what is the current state of affairs at TTPro? Can this still be happening? I know that there are suggestions that some teams have not paid players up to date and there are also other rumors that some teams have no deposit lodged with the organisation. all the sentimentality aside…and Lyndon is meh people eh! CAN this same scenario still happen today?

    • Something need to be done soon. Looking from the outside look normal which isn’t the case. Players association Lasana Liburd or it will never stop end of.

    • When my husband was at his former, the contract was between him and the club, when salary was due then he was told that someone else (a businessman) was actually responsible for paying his salary and all of a sudden he backed out.

      Lasana, you know I not accepting that, I called the Manager/Coach and reminded him that the contract was between the club and my husband and they really wouldn’t want me to make a Trini trip if they don’t give my husband his salary. Dey nasty bad down there

    • What Lasana just posted made no sense to me Asante. Who is advising these players?

    • Kendall boy, no one, unless they know someone with legal background or otherwise as Lasana stated earlier, most of these unsuspecting players don’t hv a clue.

      And these coaches and clubs does come so nice when dey ready because that particular Coach had called my husband and convinced him to come down to Trini to play with the club, he trusted him so he did. After almost 2 months of training, they took forever to select a team, when dey finally did, they were taking even longer to give them contracts. Hear nah after a while I started to cuss and told my husband if he doesn’t demand certain things I will.

      Eventually I did call the coach on another matter and he asked me “who is who”. I firmly told him I am his WIFE and his legal representative, when he realised I wasn’t backing down he eventually calmed down and told me what I wanted to know re: why he wasn’t getting paid

    • Kendall, Shaka Hislop had a look at contracts after the fact and gave the best advice he could. Again, there was nothing in place to help the players beforehand. So it boils down to the legal support the players already have.

    • With all due respect Lasana – if they had a contract that said Banker’s Insurance was liable, I have a hard time understanding how there is no liability. That makes zero sense to me.

    • In the end though, they provided services and were due payment for same. There is liability Lasana. They represented a club and were due compensation for their services. I do not think that they were properly advised. But that’s just my perspective.

      On a separate note, FIFA outlawed 3rd party ownership of players and a club having a 3rd party paying their players sounds very suspicious.

      Again, the Pro League Administration seems to have dropped the ball.

    • Yeah Kendall. They are playing for Stars. Ma Pau are the title sponsors. Somehow, they are advised to collect salaries through Bankers Insurance, who have no direct affiliation with club. Only to find out from Bankers Insurance that it is a FOURTH party who will be paying them through Bankers.
      So now they are scrambling for legal advice. And by then it is too late.

    • Ironically, I know of two players at Ma Pau Stars who were not paid last season. Carlos Edwards and Jason Scotland. The irony!
      In this case, Kendall Tull, Nicholas Lochan and Shaun Lynch, the players signed contract with Bankers Insurance to foot their salaries. Only to then be told that Bankers had sourced a third (or is it fourth?!) party to pay them, who is a contractor.
      So they got one or two months’ salary but that was it. When their contracts were reviewed, there was not enough to hold Bankers liable and the contractor who supposedly owes them is not obligated by a piece of paper anywhere.

    • So welcome back to Trinidad, Scotty and Carlos! :-/

    • Kendall, in effect for a contract to have legal standing there must be an exchange of some sort. And there was none between Bankers and the players.
      It is like me signing a contract saying I would give you $10,000 a month for no discernible reason.
      It was apparently not a properly written contract. I wouldn’t doubt that Bankers knew that too. I got the information second-hand so I’m just trying to explain as best as I can.

    • They were foolish to sign those contracts frankly. They also have some culpability in this fiasco.

    • My feeling is if someone didn’t ensure that they could not be taken of advantage is that is still a long, long way from them being to blame–in part or whole–for being abused.

    • In this world, you have to protect your interests Lasana. Carlos is no spring chicken. Surely he should have known better. Not saying that it excuses the perpetrators, just that he ought to have known better.

    • That might have been the first contracts they ever signed without agents Kendall. They were at Defence Force before and then moved to UK where an agent saw after every contract for them.
      No doubt, they regret it now.

  8. Because they know that our people are weaklings and also a set of forgiving people, you think all that madness will ever happen in my second sweetest country, look at how the corrupted Jack Warner was accepted back into our sweet country after he broke the hearts of our people and even made plenty of them cry on the day when the Strike Squad lost the game vs USA on November 19th 1989 eh when he sold out the game to the Americans in order to have their first ever World Cup in 1994 that made plenty of millions of monies eh Shaun Lynch. Them really good yes.

  9. the TTPro charter had stipulated that a security deposit be made with the league. If that was not the case then that is also another material breech of fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the league and its principals.

  10. Excellent point Kendall Tull and Nicholas Lochan. Two years ago when Ma Pau tried to return to the Pro League, Terry Fenwick said that John Wallis refused to pay the $400,000 down payment. His understanding was that they won’t have to pay that to re enter league based on conversations with Dexter Skeene back in 2011.
    The Pro League’s position was that deal only held if Ma Pau had returned to the league within three years.
    But what does that say?!
    That Wallis negotiated an exit with the blessing of the Pro League executive? The the Pro League executive swallowed up Ma Pau’s $400,000 franchise fee without paying up their debts to players like Lyndon Andrews?

    • Supposed Professional League being run like a Mickey Mouse fete match tourney. Wouldn’t they be in breach of FIFA regulations if Ma Pau returned without settling its debt?

    • Well I guess that it is time to take the bootleg professional league to court. Them really good yes.

    • well Ma pau didnt return…since it didnt actually exist the first time
      #TheLawIsAnAss

    • I really don’t know. Might depend on if the proper procedure was followed in lodging his protest against Ma Pau in the first place.
      And he would have needed Pro League staff to help him out there I think.
      With no union, the Pro League executive is being paid by clubs but meant to also look after players. There is an obvious conflict there.

    • I am skeptical about that legal interpretation stated earlier. It doesn’t seem right to me. It seems to me that if you act through an entity that wasn’t registered, you should be personally liable for any actions you signed off on as there is no corporate veil.

    • So in this matter can Dexter Skeene and the professional league still be taken to court to pay the outstanding amounts that wasn’t paid by Mau Pau since the professional league collects the $ 400,000 from the professional teams.Lasana Liburd?

    • That’s a case of a big guy threatening the little guy. Kendall, Lyndon’s lawyer might have been wary of taking that one through the high court and ending up on the losing side. Especially if Lyndon would have been struggling to afford that trial.
      But what you say makes sense.

    • I really don’t know Mango. I don’t understand why the Pro League didn’t see about those debts in the first place. I will follow up.

    • I mean if I enter into contract with an employee through a non existent company…no one liable?”….nah

    • Well I am ready to go live with this one so Stephon Nicholas and George Scoreboard Mathison stay tuned because Mau Pau and Dexter Skeene and the professional league really have to answer for this one because if the professional league collects $ 400,000 by 9 teams or is it 10 teams that is enough monies to cover the players disputes if the teams neglects to pay their outstanding debts. Them really good yes.

  11. the bush lawyer in me says that Lyndon has a case for fraudulent misrepresentation against the team, the principals of the team, the company, the league and the attorney who acted on their behalf.

  12. what I could never understand is why a company that would.declare millions in profit squeeze oit an employee for $17000…
    humans are really despicable

  13. Well the bootleg Professional leagues officials should also be held accountable for not always defending our players rights especially against some of the corrupted club owners but I really felt his pain because I knew about this same story when I was given a call about it and also gave some advice on how the players should handle the matter, and if the Players Association was up and running since the inception of the bootleg Professional league, all this madness would never have taken place, especially with what the player said about not reading the contract or making certain that a lawyer or somebody that he trusted read it for him and explain and this I know for a fact that some of the other players does always get trapped because they cannot read nor write so how can they understand about the contracts. Well I am very happy that he is still involved in the football and has his own team and I am positively certain that he will make certain that these vultures that likes to exploit our players will never get the chance to do it to his players. Them really good yes.

  14. The pro league is an advantageous employer’s dream situation: little or no regulations from its inception; no union representation for the employees re: wages & working conditions; psuedo administration. Situations such as this seem the norm rather than the exception, and will continue being so until clubs, and by extension the league, become self-sufficient. NO GOV”T HELP!

    • You seem to have a pretty good idea of the landscape there Ali. I agree with you mostly. But if the gov’t pulls out, the players will suffer too. They need a union. Badly.

    • Lasana Liburd I know that players will suffer if the gov’t pulls out – correction more players cause plenty of them suffering already – but nowhere in the world (as far as I know) is a gov’t almost fully funding a pro football league.

    • I don’t know what percentage of Pro League money comes from the government. I do think many big football leagues were heavily subsidised by the governments. Some even very recently. If you check the history of leagues like Italy, England, USA and so on.
      I don’t think govt help is unusual or wrong. I just want to ensure that money is going where it is supposed and employees are not being exploited.

    • Agreed. With pro leagues there is some governmental involvement, e.g. building of stadiums, but not to the tune of literally keeping some teams actively involved at that level. Teams seem to not be able to fund their day-to-day operations hence the exploitation of our players (even by our governing body).

    • Agreed except for the part about the exploitation. Exploiters don’t need an excuse to exploit. They would do it even if they were awash with cash.

    • …..because they were exploiters from the get-go! LOL

  15. Well I just read this story. What an indictment!! SMH

  16. Lots of blame to go around, but the Pro League really failed themselves, the League and the players by failing to establish and enforce baseline agreements to protect all parties.

  17. Three things…1. Ma Pau is registered in Dominica or some other Caribbean island for specific reasons. 2. ‘Clubs’ [e.g CL Jabloteh, Joe Public, United Petrotrin, Ma Pau] paid ‘unsustainable’ wages & were possibly based on ego over economics. 3. How come the $400,000. Pro League bond did not kick in? Or did wages surpass this?

  18. Jason Scotland what you think boy?

  19. I think if he was 27 he would changed clubs. He was 35 and a former SPL player with close to 50 national caps. He probably just decided it was time to pack it up.

  20. The lessons here are many. Too often our sportsmen and working force as well are ignorant to contracts and ensuring their well being. These things happen way too often…unscrupulous businessmen prey on the naive and never want to do what is right.

    • Earl Best

      You’re not suggesting that Lyndon was naive in so far as Ma Pau was concerned, are you? It seems to me that there was a quite deliberate effort to create a loophole for teh owners should things not work out. I’m not sure that there are too many professional footballers around who would have spotted that loophole – before the appearance of this story, of course!

      It verges on the criminal.

  21. John ain’t doing that nah

  22. Well having experienced our share of unfairness and unprofessionalism with my husband and his stint at Rangers, I know far too well how disgusting some of these clubs can be, as well as how slack Skeete and company are. So I can understand home boy’s stance quite well.

    However, I myself am wondering too why he didn’t at least try to seek employment at another club ?

  23. because the same.people who like to bad talk and say “dem have no pride dem only runnning down money” wouldn’t.throw ah barbeque or donate ah dollar for these sportsmen

  24. Hmmm it’s very sad keep strong my skipper God is d boss bless

  25. and folk wanna know why Pollard them maximizing their income now?..the career of a sportman is short… they stop earning when their colleagues are now moving up the corporate ladder. Sad sad situation..but also raises questions as to why a professional of years should essentially be on month to month living…

  26. Nigel Myers, I called Sherry Persad myself. She didn’t deny a word of it. She just said that it is dead and dusted and she cannot revisit it. Legally, Ma Pau are safe and the statute of limitations has passed for legal action.
    From all I have heard when asking about this, every line is true.

    • Well that is just plain unethical, and boldface too.

    • At this point, only John Wallis can revisit this and it will be a nice gesture if he does. And not just the two months’ salary but the ENTIRE eight months. Lyndon deserves no less.

    • Just another example of how sports administration in T&T is a mess. Lasana, did you ever get any comments from Skeene or anyone on the Pro League board?

    • Skeene had commented on I95.5FM I think. Andre Baptiste might remember. I think he offered soft diplomacy but said there wasn’t much they could do.

    • Ethically MA Pau should have at least paid him the $17,000. Legally I don’t think he had much recourse in suing. They did breach the contract, but you’re suing a bankrupt entity, makes no sense.

    • Unless you can tie them to Ma Pau casinos. Or maybe sue the Pro League who vets all incoming teams and holds a $400,000 bond from them for instances just like this.

    • Good question, and that’s the angle I would have taken. Trinidad follows English law, which at times isn’t the most progressive. In the US there is a doctrine called “piercing the corporate veil.” Incorporating is supposed to shield your person and your personal assets from liability, if there is wrongdoing by your corporate entity. Piercing the corporate veil essentially means that in limited circumstances you can take direct action against the owners of a corporation.

      In this case I would argue that failing to properly incorporate

      a) either imperfectly shields the owners from liability (it’s like putting on armor… it’s your own fault if you fail to properly protect yourself by putting on the armor like a tun tun); or
      b) failing to properly register was negligent, which again, shouldn’t permit you to benefit from your own negligence.

      That latter argument borders on a “public policy” argument, essentially saying that it would be contrary to the public good to let someone who has unclean hands either by their maleficence (deliberately failing to properly register) or negligence (accidentally failing to properly register) to then not only benefit from such action, but benefit at the expense of a truly innocent party at that. But with the statute (of limitation) having been run, its all moot.

    • I still fault the advice Selvon gave him though… some legal battles just aren’t worth the effort. He had a clear case for breach, but even had he won, what would he have won? The club was winding down due to financial troubles, so at best he was suing for a chance to stand in line with the rest of the creditors, hoping to recover against a bankrupt entity. In filing suit you always have to weigh not only the odds of success, but also the odds of recovering from the other party. His odds were always slim.

    • Where the Pro League dropped the ball is in not vetting Ma Pau SC and making sure they were properly registered as an entity.

      I don’t see how he would have had a case against the casino in either instance to be honest: if properly registered the casino would have been insulated from suit and the sporting entity on the hook. Obviously with the sporting entity not being properly registered he’s left without anyone to sue.

    • Nigel S. Scott, would he have been able to sue whoever filled out the forms for Ma Pau SC, even if the company itself wasn’t properly registered?

  27. If everything he is saying is true, Ma Pau should have never been allowed back into the Pro League without first settling their outstanding debts.

  28. I understand his disappointment and frustration, but I don’t get why he didn’t simply seek to join another club while trying to resolve the situation.

  29. These Pro league players have second jobs right

    • Some teams set training sessions to allow their players to do that. Most don’t. Of course, Defence Force and Police FC come with stable job included.
      Although at $8,000 per month, six years ago, he wouldn’t have needed to.

  30. Chubby boy…These were quality players

  31. Earl Best

    Everywhere you look in T&T, the dice are loaded in favour of the haves; money, to disagree with Eric Williams, is the problem.

    Here’s hoping young footballers will read Lyndon’s frank account and approach the business of signing contracts with all the circumspection that is clearly required.

    And that Mr Skeene will also read it and make the necessary adjustments and arrangements at his level.

    Dexter, you’re there?