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Fenwick tackles ‘erroneous’ Guardian article; opens up on Ma Pau’s Pro League bid

The following is a press release by ex-England World Cup defender Terry Fenwick, a former Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh football coach, in response to a Trinidad Guardian article on Ma Pau’s Pro League application:

Photo: Ex-Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) whistles from the bench during his then team's Pro League contest with Point Fortin Civic. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Ex-Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) whistles from the bench during his then team’s Pro League contest with Point Fortin Civic.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I am aware of an article published in the Trinidad Guardian of Thursday, September 3rd detailing a number of allegations made by an unnamed source at the Ministry of Sport and which contains damaging and erroneous comments attempting to malign my character and to discredit the legitimate application by my sponsors Ma Pau, for funding from the Ministry specific to the cost of underwriting the standard fees for incorporating its youth Football Club into the T&T Pro League.

I totally and completely refute the allegations as false and malicious, with the aim to deny professional opportunity, and to cause personal harm and injury to the members of the Ma Pau team, their sponsors and to myself.

In this regard, I wish to clear the air on the misrepresentation of facts contained in the said article.

In accordance with stipulations outlined by the Ministry in its published funding policy, as head coach to Ma Pau FC, myself and current coach Mr Keon Trim—acting on behalf of the Ma Pau Football Club and its owners and sponsors—entered into open discussions with the Minister of Sport and staff of the Ministry, advising of our intention to apply under the Grant Funding to National Governing Bodies.

Photo: Central FC striker Wilis Plaza (centre) attempts a bicycle kick at goal during a Pro League contest against Defence Force. Looking on is Dave Long (right) and Curtis Gonzales. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC striker Wilis Plaza (centre) attempts a bicycle kick at goal during a Pro League contest against Defence Force.
Looking on is Dave Long (right) and Curtis Gonzales.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The funding is identified “for sport, community groups and individuals in support of their plans, programmes and activities that foster sport development, facilitate athletic performance and engender a spirit of community living.” Our application was specific to attaining the requisite fee for incorporating the Club into the 2015/2016 Pro League season.

We met with the Minister (Brent Sancho) and his Adviser Mr (Kevin) Harrison on July 21st and subsequently met with his Permanent Secretary (Gillian Macintyre) on a number of occasions to facilitate compliance for Grant Funding for Ma Pau FC’s incorporation.

The incorporation was a necessary prerequisite by the owners of Ma Pau and its associated sponsors who have committed to rehabilitating the Morvant Recreational Grounds to be used as home ground for Ma Pau and Caledonia AIA, in addition to serving members of the general public.

The cost for rehabilitation has been estimated at just over TT$8 million and are to be privately funded through sponsorship. The fees for incorporation as documented in communication was identified as TT$450,000.

Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho (centre) shakes hands with Fuego defender Ermelinda “Linda” Pantaleao before the opening Women's Premier League (WPL) game in St James. (Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)
Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho (centre) shakes hands with Fuego defender Ermelinda “Linda” Pantaleao before the opening Women’s Premier League (WPL) game in St James.
(Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)

This information was openly and transparently shared with the Ministry, including schematics of how the grounds were going to look post rehabilitation. It must be made clear that the process for funding approval requires details of plans, as well as evidence of fund-raising or sponsorship, which we provided.

The rules provide for access to such information at least two months prior to commencement of the project. The rules also clearly indicate that the MOS will conduct a site-visit which would have had in this instance, to be hosted by the San Juan/Laventille (SJL) Regional Corporation.

In addition to the project plans and sponsorship commitment, the club’s owners submitted documentation from their bankers to establish they were in good standing, as well as formal approval from the CEO of the SJL Regional Corporation, Mr Kenwyn Pantin, of the Corporation’s permission to use the grounds under the agreed conditions. Our documents support.

Having fully satisfied all the criteria for Grant Funding, Ma Pau FC was then issued a cheque by the Ministry of Sport “through the office of the Permanent Secretary” dated August 8th.

Photo: Former Central FC coach Terry Fenwick gestures during his then team's final Pro League contest. North East Stars coach Angus Eve is in the foreground. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Central FC coach Terry Fenwick gestures during his then team’s final Pro League contest.
North East Stars coach Angus Eve is in the foreground.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

At the same time, a letter of notification also dated August 8th, was sent to the CEO of the Professional Football League, Mr Dexter Skeene, advising of the granting of funds and the Ministry’s support.

On Monday, August 17th, we received a phone call from the office of the Permanent Secretary, asking that we return the cheque and be present for discussions. Myself and Mr Trim met with the PS on that day at 11 am and were advised that there was an administrative error on the part of the Ministry and that the cheque would be cancelled.

Guidance was given that the cheque should have been made under a different agency of the same Ministry and a promise of written correspondence to provide reasons for the cancellation was given.

We received this notification in good faith being mindful that the Point Fortin Civic Centre Football League had already been successfully processed and their grant funding issued for their own incorporation into the Pro League season.

We have had no further communication from the Ministry to date, nor were we at any time advised that there were any discrepancies on our part, nor have we been asked to answer any questions from anyone about improper application for funding.

Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho is not believed to have supported Ma Pau's bid to return to the Pro League. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho is not believed to have supported Ma Pau’s bid to return to the Pro League.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

September 3rd was the first we had any indication that there may have been any problem with our application.

While I am deeply disturbed by the unfortunate attack on my character and the club’s owners and sponsors, my deepest concern is for the well-deserving players who are now without a place to practice and an opportunity to participate in the upcoming season.

I remain hopeful that work can begin on the Morvant Recreational Grounds to provide the community a world-class facility for the continued development of sport.

AboutTerry Fenwick

Terry Fenwick
Terry Fenwick is the technical director of the Football Factory in POS. He is a former England World Cup player who played professionally for Tottenham, Queen's Park FC, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Swindon Town. He is also one of the most successful coaches in T&T's professional era having won regional and domestic titles with Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh.

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11 comments

  1. Well if they don’t want him in Morvant eh we will definitely take him in my home town St James they have plans to refurbish the police barracks field on long circular road and that can also be Mau Pau home field or maybe the field down in Diego Martin there could also hold very nice facilities where crime can also be deterred. It’s time we really have a professional team representing the West

  2. Having read this article and bearing in mind the other, this is sounding purely party political..and MauPau FC team are caught in the middle…I hope Im wrong

  3. Earl Best

    My gut feeling is that Terry failed to read the fine print on the back of the cheque that stipulated the terms and conditions under which payment had been made. Maybe there was also an email from a Ministry official but it may have gone to his spam box.

  4. Hey don’t get too technical there Terry you can slow down at “ent you have lights” playing surfaces are strange concepts to the M o S ,don’t have as much flash as lights at an opening. Facilities is another difficult word ..for example ” the Children’s hospital is a good facility.”

  5. The “Before & After” photo’s were a simulation provided to the Regional Corporation and the MOS to give example of the kind of transformation synthetic surfaces provide over natural weather beaten facilities.

  6. Aaron Pollard, I’ve been working on that story for over a week but there had just been pressing stuff that kept popping up. I hope to finally get story out this evening.
    I’ve never even heard anyone mention photos of the field before and I’ve spoken to Kevin Harrison, Dexter Skeene, Donna Cox, Jamaal Shabazz, Terry Fenwick and sources at the Ministry of Sport.
    But would it make sense for any club owner to build a $8.5 million ground and THEN apply for a competition?
    It sounds hilarious to me.

  7. Look I don’t care about fraudulent this and fraudulent eh if it takes Terry Fenwick to get a proper field with seating accommodations and changing facilities eh the field should be built for the main purpose of deterring the crime situation in those areas and the field , could be shared with Caleidona eh because it is many moons now Prof Jamaal Shabazz was asking for the same thing to be done and now when the both teams meet each other eh it will be a derby the same Manchester city vs Manchester United eh and we all must never forget this is the betterment of our kids the sport and continue to get them contracts abroad in the real professional leagues . Them really good yes

  8. This totally contradicts the earlier report in the Guardian. I am waiting on the Ministry’s official response but I guess that will come after the elections. What about the allegations of fraudulent pictures of the Morvant field submitted by Mau Pau?

  9. 200% agreed with you there Earl Mango Pierre

  10. So this means if Mau pau isn’t in the professional league this upcoming season eh Terry Fenwick won’t be coaching any team eh, look alyuh try alyuh best and fire one of those bootleg coaches and hire Terry Fenwick eh because he brings plenty excitement to the league while winning Championships Them really good yes Steeuuppsss

  11. Things would have worked out so much better for Fenwick if he did just kick dong El Diego.