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Ma Pau poser: How Pro League application led to Police probe in Sport Ministry

The Ma Pau Morvant Sports Club, almost certainly, will not participate in the 2015/16 Pro League competition, after an about-turn by the Ministry of Sport left the organisation without its registration fee.

And it is possible that the Ma Pau outfit, which participated in the Pro League between 2008 and 2011, may not have another shot at entrance in the local top flight until 2018.

Photo: Central FC star Ataulla Guerra (centre) takes the 2014/15 Pro League trophy from Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC star Ataulla Guerra (centre) takes the 2014/15 Pro League trophy from Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

There is nothing unusual about a local football club attempting and failing to secure admittance into the Pro League. It happens almost every season.

But it is not every year that a Pro League application leads to a passive aggressive media battle between the Sport Minister and a football coach, suggestions of a pliant Permanent Secretary, a police investigation for fraud and a frustrated community.

The most appealing aspect of Ma Pau’s proposed return to the Pro League is a promised TT$8.5 million refurbishment of a sport ground in Morvant, which the club will share with fellow top flight neighbours, Caledonia AIA, and the community.

And outgoing Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox had hoped her last act as the area’s Parliamentary representative would have been to announce the massive infrastructural work on the sporting ground in the humble community.

Cox said that, over the last five years, she had filed questions in Parliament and written the Ministry of Sport, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Planning for help to fix the uneven ground, which is unbearably dusty one minute and flooded the next.

Photo: Outgoing Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox.
Photo: Outgoing Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox.

“It just needed refurbishing and some work done,” Cox told Wired868. “A lot of people use it because they don’t have a proper alternative but there is a lot of flooding and it is uneven and so on…

“We talk about crime but, if we are really serious about crime, this is one of the areas that is at risk. But no work has been done in Laventille East/Morvant by the Ministry of Sport. No netball or basketball court, nothing.

“Malick Senior Comprehensive has to go outside its community to train because there is no proper ground here for them… And I also made a plug for it to be the home ground for Caledonia AIA.”

Cox claimed she got nowhere with her pleas for State resources to fix the community ground.

Last month, former Central FC coach Terry Fenwick approached the MP with a promise to completely renovate the ground and she jumped at the offer. There was one caveat.

Ma Pau wanted the Ministry of Sport to support its bid to return to the Pro League.

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

“If the Ministry of Sport is not doing what it is supposed to do and a private company wants to come in and assist, then of course I support it,” said Cox. “I feel they should be allowed to get the job done. Why is it being stopped?

“Why didn’t the Ministry decide to partner with them and get it done?”

The catch was that Ma Pau wanted the Ministry of Sport to foot the bill for its Pro League return, which meant a TT$400,000 payment. The Ma Pau application, though, asked the Government for TT$450,000.

But why did Ma Pau, after promising to spend just over TT$3 million on a football ground before the end of year, not simply pay the Pro League’s comparatively paltry registration fee in the first place?

The Pro League gave Ma Pau chairman John Wallis an assurance that, should he choose to return to the competition, he would not have to pay a registration fee for a second time. But Wallis was not aware—or properly advised by his own staff—that this amnesty carried a deadline. And the club missed it two years ago.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen collects his thoughts after striking the bar against Sweden, during the Germany 2006 World Cup. Glen is a former Ma Pau player. (Courtesy www.bbc.co.uk)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen collects his thoughts after striking the bar against Sweden, during the Germany 2006 World Cup.
Glen is a former Ma Pau player.
(Courtesy www.bbc.co.uk)

When Wallis and Fenwick sat down in June to discuss Ma Pau’s return to top flight football, there were, according to the coach, two conditions: the club must have a home ground—Wallis was frustrated by Ma Pau being asked to play home games all over the country during his previous Pro League stint—and he would not pay to regain his club’s Pro League status.

From mid-June, Fenwick went into overdrive, as he met and wooed counsellors and regional corporation representatives with Ma Pau’s vision for the Morvant ground.

Inevitably, Fenwick ended up at the Ministry of Sport and in front of his former employer and current Sport Minister, Brent Sancho.

Almost a decade earlier, Fenwick sacked Sancho at San Juan Jabloteh after he grew frustrated with the World Cup 2006 defender’s supposed fondness for night life. But they worked together twice at Central and, earlier this year, the English coach was at the helm when the “Couva Sharks” lifted the Caribbean Club Championship and Digicel Pro League and Pro Bowl titles.

Sancho was already Sport Minister when Fenwick returned to the Sharks and the UNC Senator claimed he had nothing to do with it. But an email between Fenwick, Sancho and his advisor Kevin Harrison suggested otherwise.

Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho (centre) pays a visit to Bourg Mulatresse. (Courtesy SPORTT Company)
Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho (centre) pays a visit to Bourg Mulatresse.
(Courtesy SPORTT Company)

At 8.30 am on Monday 23 March 2015, Fenwick asked Harrison, via email, to round his salary off at TT$30,000 per month and confirm his bonus for title success with the Sharks. But Sancho was the person who replied.

“We never agreed to rounding off to 30,” stated Sancho, from his Hotmail address. “It’s 28 and 10%. Please (do) not complicate this as time is of the essence.”

On March 24, Central confirmed that Fenwick would replace Serbian Zoran Vranes as head coach. Harrison claimed then that he made the decision and not Sancho.

Although Central won every available title under Fenwick, the relationship between the trio quickly soured.

At 10.52 am on 25 June 2015, Fenwick wrote a 515-word email to Sancho, Harrison and Central director Daren Mohamdally, in which the former England World Cup player ranted at the club’s supposed mismanagement and warned that the Sharks faced a thrashing from MLS club, LA Galaxy, at the CONCACAF Champions League.

Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Maybe, in my moment of weakness, I expected CFC (Central FC) to recognise the huge opportunity we have been presented to provide T&T football with a much needed ‘positive’ shot in the arm from the visit of LA Galaxy to Trinidad,” stated Fenwick, as he raged about the club’s failure to sort out players’ contracts and pre-season plans. “… It is unethical to have potential employees waiting on Management and the Board to have an epiphany regarding renewal of contracts! Do you have any regard for people’s lives and families noting that they all have responsibilities to their loved ones!

“I find it not only unprofessional but disingenuous to run your club with people/players’ welfare at your disposal and not communicate with them…

“For me and my players, it is demoralising and quite startling how individuals of self proclaimed pillars of society treat with such disregard their own work force.”

Exactly 31 minutes later, Central manager Jamie Along-Charles emailed Fenwick with bad news: “Dear Terry. The Board and Management of Central FC met to discuss your proposed contractual requirement. Unfortunately at this time they will not be able to facilitate your request.

“As such, they wish to sincerely thank you for your services rendered to the club.”

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) receives a Blue Waters Coach of the Month award from Pro League secretary Julia Baptiste. (Courtesy TT Pro League)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) receives a Blue Waters Coach of the Month award from Pro League secretary Julia Baptiste.
(Courtesy TT Pro League)

Regardless, Fenwick took coach Keon Trim along to explain to Sancho and Harrison—in their official capacities at the Ministry of Sport—why the Government should support Ma Pau’s bid to enter the Pro League.

There had been a precedent as, just last year, the Government paid registration fees for Point Fortin Civic. But Sancho, despite his football background, did not support Ma Pau’s bid.

What neither Sancho nor Harrison knew is that Fenwick had already gotten the necessary approval from Ministry of Sport Permanent Secretary Gillian Macintyre, who, as the Ministry’s financial officer, does not need Cabinet or Ministerial oversight within a TT$1 million limit.

“We went to (Sancho) with the complete proposal for Ma Pau and he gave us every possible excuse why he could not do it,” said Fenwick. “I gave them six different ways they could back it because of the level of funding put out by corporate Trinidad.

“Everything they said was a contradiction because we already had an agreement from the PS and we knew that Point Fortin had already received money before us.”

Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Andrei Pacheco (centre) holds off Police FC players Elijah Belgrave (right) and Todd Ryan during a Pro League contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Andrei Pacheco (centre) holds off Police FC players Elijah Belgrave (right) and Todd Ryan during a Pro League contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The Sport Ministry contacted Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene and advised that it chose to support Ma Pau’s bid and foot its supposed $450,000 registration fee.

There was no consensus as to why the Government wrote a cheque for $450,000 and not $400,000 and, arguably, it showed a flaw in the internal process at the Ministry.

Fenwick and a Sport Minister official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed they were verbally told the fee for entry was $450,000 while the Pro League officials could not remember ever saying so.

Clearly, nobody got anything in writing from the Pro League about its registration fee, yet, despite that fact, a cheque was drawn up for Ma Pau. Furthermore, the cheque was made made out to Ma Pau Morvant Sports Club and not the Pro League.

Skeene, a former “Strike Squad” player, thought the incorrect figure was an error and not fraud.

“If I had any problems with Ma Pau’s application, I would not have put forward their application to the (Pro League board),” Skeene told Wired868. “Or I would have at least hinted (about the problem) to the board.”

Photo: Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene (right) is in deep conversation with former Trinidad and Tobago standout Ron La Forest at the inaugural Wired868 Football Festival. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)
Photo: Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene (right) is in deep conversation with former Trinidad and Tobago standout Ron La Forest at the inaugural Wired868 Football Festival.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)

Harrison, despite his role with the Sport Ministry, was present at the Pro League’s board meeting and was stunned to hear that Ma Pau’s application was supported by the Ministry of Sport.

“I went to the Pro League meeting to present info on the delays in their subventions and so on,” Harrison told Wired868. “The Chairman said there was an application to enter the Pro League when they opened up the meeting and presented a cheque (from the Sport Ministry). I said I knew nothing about it at all and neither does the Minister.”

The Pro League clubs did not support Ma Pau’s bid and, ironically, there was grumbling by club representatives that Fenwick had used his influence with Sancho and Harrison to gain an unfair advantage.

In truth, Harrison was fuming and he sped straight back to the Ministry’s PS, Macintyre, for answers. The English football administrator claimed that he and Sancho implemented a system in which Harrison reviewed any cheques issued by the Sport Ministry for over $20,000.

“Once a cheque is issued, I would review the file to ensure all the processes are followed,” said Harrison. “This is something we put in place when we came into the Ministry because of the Life Sport thing to make sure we don’t issue money to the wrong people.”

Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy. Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left). (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy.
Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left).
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Was Fenwick the “wrong people?”

Harrison questioned Macintyre about the Ma Pau cheque and asked her to withdraw it.

“When I went back to the Ministry, I saw the PS and asked if she issued a cheque for $450,000 to Ma Pau and she said yes,” said Harrison. “And I said it was declined and you can get it back. When we then looked at the file, we realised there were a number of discrepancies… So the PS decided to take it to the police.”

One of the suggestions, raised in a subsequent Trinidad Guardian article, was that Fenwick sent photographs that fraudulently misrepresented the state of the Morvant ground by showing a spanking track around it.

The bemused Englishman countered that he had merely shown the ground in its current condition and then used photographs of a foreign track to show what it would like after work was completed.

Macintyre never questioned Fenwick, though. She ordered the coach to return the cheque, which he did, and, although the PS herself signed off on the application, the police began interviewing Sport Ministry officials on the matter.

However, the Pro League never formally rejected Ma Pau’s proposal and Skeene contradicted Harrison’s report to the PS.

“I don’t know where (Harrison) is getting this idea about the finality of the thing,” said Skeene. “The Pro League always continues to assist teams and we continue to try to help Ma Pau to get into the league… It is a continuing process.”

Photo: Central FC official and Advisor to the Sport Minister Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams. Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC official and Advisor to the Sport Minister Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams.
Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

Had Harrison overstepped his boundaries by instructing the PS to withdraw the cheque for Ma Pau?

And had Macintyre erred by taking instructions from Harrison rather than the Pro League Chairman or CEO?

Wired868 failed to reach Macintyre for comment. Harrison denied he was working against Ma Pau’s bid.

“We said we can’t find a way and he went around (Sancho and I) and submitted an application and he got turned down by the Pro League,” said Harrison. “I certainly had no say in how they voted because I wasn’t a voting member. It had nothing to do with me.”

Was there any ill-feeling between Sancho, Harrison and Fenwick?

“I don’t know (but) I see there is a post on Facebook calling me a liar,” said Harrison, in reference to a comment made by Fenwick’s wife and local attorney, Reyna Kowlessar. “I was told by two independent sources that Terry said he got money from the Ministry of Sport without me or Brent knowing about it. And he was laughing…”

Caledonia AIA coach Jamaal Shabazz said he abstained from the vote when Ma Pau’s application was raised before the Pro League board. Since then, he met with Fenwick and has been rallying other clubs to support Ma Pau.

Photo: Caledonia head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and assistant coach Rajesh Latchoo enjoy a good day at the office. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)
Photo: Caledonia head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and assistant coach Rajesh Latchoo enjoy a good day at the office.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/ Wired868)

“I had heard rumours that the regional corporation had given the ground in our Morvant community to Ma Pau and I abstained at that point to get more clarity,” Shabazz told Wired868. “Now that I have information to the contrary, I feel it is necessary for Caledonia to support Ma Pau’s entry into the League…

“The Ma Pau franchise would be able to employ at least 35 of our grassroots people and, while politicians continue to promise, the young people have to (be able to) eat.”

Shabazz suggested that Ma Pau might win a second vote from Pro League clubs but claimed the team’s bid was being undermined by “senior officials at the Sport Ministry.”

“Each club owner has their say and their vote and, because we own the league, we can change our minds as we have done and amend rules according to the situations that we face,” said Shabazz. “I’m hearing that there are senior officials in the Ministry who are trying to put stumbling blocks. I have spoken to one or two clubs who said that senior officials have insinuated that Terry Fenwick did not use proper information to secure the Ministry’s help…

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

“I can understand if you stop a man from doing bad. So if Fenwick trying to do something bad, I can understand (that) they stop it. But he is trying to do something good, so I can’t see why they want to stop him.

“And I am saying this as no friend of Terry Fenwick and it angers me when people think for some reason I shouldn’t stand up for him.

“I am not standing up for him, I am standing up for fair play in football. This is our livelihood and we have to make this industry work.”

Shabazz suggested that the Pro League needs Fenwick at least as much as he needs the Pro League.

“I see Terry Fenwick as a warrior like us and he brings a certain amount of competitiveness and finesse as a coach in the league,” said Shabazz. “He is second only to Stuart Charles (Fevrier) in terms of winning titles in the Pro League and for that he has my respect… Caledonia would vote in favour of Ma Pau, despite the fact that on the field I am a fierce competitor against Terry Fenwick.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (right) tries to get a reaction from his squad in the 2015 Caribbean Cup final. Looking on is W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (right) tries to get a reaction from his squad in the 2015 Caribbean Cup final.
Looking on is W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“We may never be friends but I think he has a place in Trinidad and Tobago’s football. And, as a Muslim, I have a command from Allah to stand up for justice.

“Allah says: ‘Oh ye who believe, stand up firmly for justice, even if it is against yourself.’ Despite my combative vibes with Mr Fenwick, I think in fairness to the work he has done, he should be in the league.”

However, Skeene said the time-consuming furore within the Ministry of Sport over Ma Pau’s application has probably killed the team’s chances of playing in the Pro League this season.

The Pro League is due to kick off with a Digicel Charity Shield fixture on September 11 while the official competition is scheduled to begin on September 25.

“I think there was a remote possibility for Ma Pau to come into the league last month,” said Skeene. “It was very tight. Right now, it would probably be next season.”

The new TTFA constitution, which was approved by its executive committee but must still make its way through the regional associations, calls for a promotion and relegation system between the Pro League and National Super League.

Photo: Malabar FC attacker Che Edwards (second from left) struggles with Edinburgh defender Aswad Alves (centre) while Shaheed John (right) slides in to win the ball during CNG National Super League  Championship Division action at the D'abadie Recreation Grounds.  Looking on is Edinburgh goalkeeper Joel Sansavior. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Malabar FC attacker Che Edwards (second from left) struggles with Edinburgh defender Aswad Alves (centre) while Shaheed John (right) slides in to win the ball during CNG National Super League Championship Division action at the D’abadie Recreation Grounds.
Looking on is Edinburgh goalkeeper Joel Sansavior.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

When that occurs, clubs will have to earn their entrance into the top flight by slogging it out in the Super League, which now has two divisions.

It would mean that Ma Pau and other ambitious clubs must spend at least two years battling their way past over 30 community teams before they can even apply to the Pro League.

“The Pro League board still has to finalise the matter of promotion and relegation,” said Skeene. “We are looking to have a discussion with the TTFA. I would like it to (have promotion) but we have to have discussions… It will place a totally different dimension on things.”

It means that local football fans might have a long wait before they see Fenwick coaching in the top flight again.

Shabazz would miss the combative Englishman, although there may be just as many rivals who would say ‘good riddance.’ Fenwick, outspoken, combative and provocative, has always split opinions in the local game, even though his titles speak for themselves.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Cox suggested that Morvant/Laventille would be the biggest losers, though.

“I am really disappointed with all the foolishness that is going on,” said Cox. “Anybody who wants to do something to uplift the grounds, I am very grateful for it… If someone is willing to pump money into sport, then shouldn’t (the Ministry of Sport) be happy?

“There must be some underlying confusion going on that we do not know about. I don’t think any right-thinking person will not want that to happen.”

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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285 comments

  1. So they also alerted the feds to alleged customs infractions.. this is super serious

  2. I cannot wait myself…….BOOM

  3. It would be interesting to compare how much the gov’t was being asked to spend in both cases. But I’m very happy that Morvant has that ground and I look forward to sampling the atmosphere on Sunday.

  4. Lasana Liburd point to note d present upgrade is not half of what was proposed Terry Fenwick!! Ask Jamaal Shabazz but i guess it’s a start

  5. So the ground wasnt being used all this time?

  6. Good point Sav. The upgrade happened under the last government. And, according to the timeline given, it was being done even as Ma Pau was asking for permission to pour some of its own resources in there to ground share.

  7. So when was the upgrade done 2015 or 2016 Lasana?

  8. ^^^how yuh expect financiers to get contracts?

  9. Does that mean the Sport Ministry turned down private sector money for this project and turned around and funded it fully themselves? Hmmm.

  10. This is the main one Shaun Lynch.

  11. Gordon Pierre could you also imagine eh, when I was in our sweet country some time ago eh and I visited the West Mall where I like to hang out sometimes while I am there eh, I saw a big opened piece of land eh and I asked what the government is going and build there and I was told that it was supposed to be affordable housing for our black people the same like what they have in Cocorite and other places in our sweet country and I was also told that the West Moorings residents shut it down yes and now I saw a sign where they will put a Savannah so if Carlos Lee feel that is the Prime Ministers that does run things in our sweet country eh, well I am waiting very patiently to see Mr. Rowdy fix up Morvant with the library, the stadia, and the hospital for our people eh. Them really good yes.

  12. This have been one of the most revealing threads!! Lasana Liburd Travis Mulraine has alot of very truthful points, while ur advice is also very valid!! Jamaal Shabazz good to hear u will b starting the revolution
    of empowerment!!

  13. Well the last time I told you to change the carnival season time to when the professional and the super league season ends around in May so you will get better support from more spectators and players and in this way you can also get more of your jerseys sold etc, etc, but to tell you the truth my man of business Dion Sosa will organize the games for me and I just want to come and assist him and just enjoy the day as usual eh, so as I said in May or June after season will be better for me to many folks and players like to attend the carnival parties and shows when you are having it in January and also we can also honor the top goalscorer of the professional league at the football festival eh instead of how I does it at the stadium .

  14. I have a match contract in place for the next match already Mango. Lol. So if we are playing, it would have be separate from that.

  15. Earl Mango Pierre – new leadership within the PNM. I don’t think the good Doc will allow himself to be used by “others” like the former PNM leader. I also think that politicians are now aware that there’s a much more educated population out there. They know now that if you don’t listen to the people and don’t facilitate their needs, they will be only too happy to vote you out of office. Both Manning and Kamla failed to understand that. They took the people for granted. Thought they could do whatever and still stay in power. But the people showed them who is their boss. So My brother Jamaal Shabazz. Go to your representative and demand your library, stadium and hospital or clinic for the people of Morvant. If the people believe those are important to them and their family, then your representative should work to ensure that they’re built. Unless the economy continues to go south, your rep should do his/her best to meet your demands.

  16. Yeah and I am ready to give you the opportunity to beat up my foreign base team eh re your football festival so leh meh know when you are ready for the rematch and yes the corrupted sports minister will be the captain of meh side just like old times. Hahahahah Them really good yes.

  17. Travis Mulraine, I’ve discussed the topic you raised with a friend and pondered on it.
    I didn’t mean to breezily dismiss your point of inequal opportunities.
    It is true that is the case.
    Many factors contribute to that. Sometimes education, upbringing, geographical location, access to resources, network, looks and, yes, race.
    Now I can’t say whose plan for Morvant was better. And I’m not getting into personalities either.
    What I’m saying is my suggestions above were meant to look at how you can better your own sales pitch as I have had to step out of my comfort zone and do sales too since Wired868 was started.
    So I don’t mean to pretend that inequalities don’t exist. I’m just thinking of the best way to advance yourself, which tends to be focusing on your pluses and not the hurdles.
    Not meaning to sound preachy. Just speaking as someone who has had to go out and learn to speak to CEOs and so on too to raise advertising revenue.

  18. Why do you think that Mr. Live Wire is so educated and writes so very well eh, he is ah CIC old boy eh, and yes some of our people was allowed to attend those kind of schools the same but the plan was always to deal with our black people with another kind of slavery after the slavery was abolished back in the days eh, but many of them still haven’t released themselves from the mental slavery. Steeuuppss Them really good yes.

  19. Look Carlos Lee are you serious eh, you don’t know why there isn’t a library in every communities eh, why isn’t there a CIC, a Fatima, and so forth and so on in all the communities eh, just like what the great Elijah Muhammad said in his book eh on every corner in our black communities in the America eh there is a rum shop / liquor store eh to keep the black man down eh and that is no different in our sweet country the white folks came to our sweet country and set up shop a very long time ago to get very rich with our oil, natural gas, and the pitch lake eh, and they continue to pump guns and drugs into our communities to continue to make us look bad and for them to prosper and look good and alyuh really think now that the PNM is in power with a black man as the PM eh , things will really change eh, well I am really hoping so eh but as we all know the PNM is really the Syrians party and every body else after eh. Them really good yes

  20. Jamaal Shabazz – I like your community stadia and related plans for things like community libraries and hospitals. Not sure about malls, which I don’t think government should be building. That’s more of a private venture opportunity. Government need to stay out of that. But yes to community based stadia, library, and well staffed hospitals/clinics. Every major city should have a 2000 – 3000 seat stadium, with capacity to increase seating based on demand. These stadia should be built, not with 100% government funding, but by joint partnership funding from local clubs, private donations, and dollars from local businesses. Local clubs/organizations should then be responsible for managing and maintaining these stadia. As for libraries – I don’t understand why there isn’t one in every community – fully furbished with computers, printers, and other invaluable digital supplies, including internet services. Libraries should be a must have for every village and city in TnT. Hopefully PNM will do the right thing this time around. Instead of buidling nice skyscrapers all over POS, they can build up all villages and cities with what should be considered fundamental resources, such as what is discussed above.

  21. And now that our Muslim brother David Nahkid is moving up in the football whom I am sure like many other players that you had some influence in their lives can’t you also reach out to him for the help that you need in getting things done for the footballers and the communities as my father God say ask and you shall receive knock and the door shall be opened.

  22. If you recall when we first met and you realized that my passion was the football eh, you always telling me that I was needed back in our sweet country to get things done and my reply to you was that I wasn’t leaving my good UN job to return to deal with the mentality of some of those folks in that corrupted Jack Warner TTFA eh, well I have retired now and I am ready to return and give that helping hand towards your vision for the youths and the community and we shall definitely rise again my brother. Blessings

  23. Put in a business plan Jamaal, them plans sounding good, let the youths do some of the building work, supervised of course, 7-4, like all construction sites.

  24. Mango is 36 years of my life I give to this thing. I not laughing heh heh and with effort I feel I could organize all those youths who fighting each other for nothing. Is time to show them how to do like Terry and go and get real thing in the community. Not just the ground we have to get a library a Mall a mini hospital and real development in Laventille East Morvant. Inshallah by God’s will hold me to this.

  25. Oh lawd please my Prof Jamaal Shabazz not another uprising eh, trust me when I say that I have been praying for that field to be built also in San Juan and if it takes a white foreigner to come to our sweet country to have it done eh so be it I truly believe that both Terry Fenwick and Kevin Harrison were both sent by Allah, God to fulfil this mission and this was the same thing that happened in the Police training College when a white foreigner from Canada came to our sweet country and was attached to the college and got some new sleeping quarters that was built for the instructors and they were all very happy for that eh, so for the betterment of our football and lessening of the crime in our sweet country work with him man he will not be there forever and neither will be you and me but one day we all will be remembered for what we did for the youths, communities, and our footballers.

  26. And if I jamaal shabazz sit in silence and do not use ever ounce of my energy and blood to improve the condition of my people in Morvant then I would have failed them.

  27. The only way forward for professional football is community stadia. If we cannot get this relief for our people that outlet to make sport an industry under the group we call our own. Then the ballot would have failed us miserably. The process of dipping your finger in ink , wining with we red yellow ir green jersey. Rum and roti would have failed us.

  28. Sis Sav when you in the kitchen you does know the heat. And enough is enough my Dear

  29. I will say again Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler understood how to get things for the grassroots . And there is a reason why there is a place in Fyzabad called Charlie King Junction.

  30. Jamaal, why do you always sound as if you’re threatening someone? Is it how you normally speak?

  31. How Terry Fenwick get his $$ and his clearances is a lesson for me in sticktuitiveness . I not to concerned with how he gets his thing because I does have to do what ever it takes to get Cale thing. But he was able to penetrate the SJLRC in a way that I have not been able to. So I prepared to learn from him because trust me in Morvant we intend to take charge of what goes on in our community. After this its not business as usual. If Fenwick could bring the ground we will cooperate with him. If he cannot and that fall through we will find the resources to do it. Then if the SJLRC say no . Then there will be problems.

  32. Travis Mulraine if I was to expose things that I know about others who also have skeletons in their closets eh, and they saying this and saying that about Terry Fenwick eh you know they will get vex with me eh because they cannot handle the Truth eh I heard that Gally Cummings said that he will sue me for what I said on TV when I was invited by Wayne Cunningham on his TV show eh, about what happened in 1989 eh and I really thought that I was coming to speak for about an hour not ten minutes because the Truth must be told and Prof Jamaal Shabazz knows the Truth about what transpired because he was the one that wrote my story in the newspapers back then. Them really good yes

  33. *Sigh*…big people *rolls eyes way into my head*

  34. Clearly the problem was being able to sell your idea to the regional corporation. I don’t have many advantages as a small businessman.
    But I do know one has to be positive and look for the good in what your are selling and understand what the people you are approaching are looking for.
    I don’t know about your personal war and I am happy not knowing. But you won’t help yourself if you focus on that.
    You just have to keep looking for solutions.
    As far as the “white foreigner” bit. Today this issue is “white foreigner”, tomorrow it is “indian”, the next day it is the “big shot oreo”…
    I don’t like the racial references. They don’t help. They only cause bitterness and divisions.
    I have people I like and dislike in all races. It is irrelevant.
    I think Fenwick is a good salesman with a long record of accomplishments in local football. And that gives him an advantage.
    I can’t comment on the racial side of things because neither of us can prove it.

  35. once you is a trini and looking out for our country’s best interest i don’t care what race you are but this fella in question i know he don’t care bout nobody but heself,since when he care bout players welfare,please ,i will war him forever.and yes artur suite was a great visionary who cared about the players, he should’ve stood firm against Jack and he would’ve won the war,but he conceded with a snake and didn’t prepare for the bite.

  36. One doesn’t have to be a white foreigner to come to our sweet country to get things done in a quick timing our white locals will get things done in a quick timing the same yes and if the Syrians and Indians like Arthur Suite who started the first professional league eh and with his vision our football would have been on the World stage a very long time ago just like how the cricket is today but the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies was only about themselves and their pockets steeuupss Them really good yes

  37. I had a plan to refurbish Sogren trace ground close to despers pan yard since that is the only ground in laventille capable of any real infrastructural upgrade,i outlined the spin off jobs that it would generate ground staff etc etc not t mention making an impact on crime by recruiting a player from all the warring zones in Laventille to show that sport can help to unite people not a cent ,i think maybe that is what turned them off, if the youth in laventille calm down, a whole industry would suffer. people who profit off crime would see their fortunes dwindle.

  38. From what I’ve seen Travis Mulraine, the draw that got the support was a $8.5 million refurbishment of the ground in Morvant. That’s what Shabazz is supporting as well.
    If you had the same proposal and got turned down, only then can I say that it was probably race.

  39. Its amazing that a foreigner could come here and get $450,000 so easy cause he have an accent and a different skin colour.I went with a similar proposal to the ministry for a club to be named Laventille Utd, and all i got was an interview not a black cent ,i disappointed that my bro Jamaal support Fenwick ,Fenwick using this as a means to his end cause Fenwick only care bout Fenwick Fenwick couldn’t care less but any youth from Morvant trust me. But as a student of history and a student of politics i understand what this “democratic” system really stands for, the fire is enough for them whose fuel is men and stones’

  40. I’m sure Keith Clement will jump at the chance to have your side Reyna Kowlessar 😉

  41. I think the most unprofessional thing, at least one of them is the unethical reporting by Rhondor Dowlat. To this day she has NOT interviewed Terry, gives the most misleading headines ” Cops probe Fenwick” which they haven’t. Used our press release to sound like she interviewed Terry….. btw the State can grant permissions to any legal entity by way of a lease and certain other legal requirements. If anyone in this thread has the unfortunate experience of working with Ms Dowlat kindly inform her, all the documenation from The San Juan /Laventille regional Corp granting permissions, correspondence from ” The Office of the PS” at the MOS can be provided to her. To this day, monies have never even been “accidentally” slipped into our accounts.

  42. If there is fraud here, then I hope the police investigates and lays charges. From the appliers to the PS and everybody in between. But I think I have quoted reputable sources.
    In terms of the police investigation, I was told by a Gov’t official that it wasn’t the fraud squad that was probing. Someone who isn’t as close to it said otherwise and that it is the fraud squad.
    I genuinely don’t know. I’ve given about as much info as I can on this matter.

  43. The lands owned by SJLRC but leased to entities for a period of time, whether it be sole or joint

  44. Lasana the clarity you outline is the information I have also….teh ground was to be shared between 2 clubs and Ma Pau was not buying anything….over & out!.

  45. Steups. Kevin Harrison, you are not adding clarity to anything. Because Ma Pau was never buying or taking over the land. My understand, confirmed by last MP Donna Cox, was that there would be a ground sharing situation.
    The ground remained owned by the corporation but Ma Pau got it for use for training sessions and games.
    People seem to be deliberately muddying this discussion and I haven’t time to be always responding to try and clear things up.
    So everyone can listen to their own source on this I guess. Just make sure it is someone you trust.

  46. It is very long winded process, but I don’t think it has to wait to be discussed in Statutory Mtgs tho…it can be debated/approved at Council mtg.

  47. Correct Kevin. The Corporate Secretary (Legal rep of the Corp) has to approve, it is then passed to Council for approval

  48. Just to add a little clarity it is my understanding that public land cannot be given to private entities without many procedures taking place. For example, TTFA are being awarded a piece of land near Manny Ramjohn Stadium. It has the Ministry’s backing and a cabinet note I believe but it’s taken over 6 Months so far. The Morvant ground, I believe, would have needed backing from SJLRC and then Ministry of Sport and then the legal process would begin. This is my understanding of the process.

  49. If Ma Pau isn’t accepted but really wants to make a contribution to Morvant/POS; why not fund & work with Caledonia AIA or Rangers; last year’s last and second to last strugglers.

  50. Pantin is the key here. It could mean that he gave approval without the power to do so (according to De Lamo). We could only wait to see how this mess unravels. This situation just proves the mess that sport administration is in in this country

  51. The CEO is a Public Servant and I don’t think they’ll speak to a journalist. I guess we will see when this matter is taken to Council, if at all. At the end of the day, it’s the community that loses out in all this confusion. My suggestion is they all get together and come to a decision, if that’s possible at all

  52. It is interesting Sav. Maybe the Guardian should speak to the person who supposedly granted permission and not someone who didn’t.
    I really don’t know if Pantin can or cannot. I do remember seeing a document from the regional corporation.
    I didn’t speak to every single person in the process. I spoke to the MP for the area, Caledonia AIA, the Pro League CEO and an official at the Sport Ministry.
    I can only go by the info I have. It is good that Dowlatt is quoting people here so it isn’t people from behind shadows.
    I think if Pantin speaks it will help. But I just cannot chase this one story indefinitely with so much other football happening.

  53. Just perusing the Sports section of the Guardian this morning Lasana, here’s what the SJLRC has to say:

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/sport/2015-09-12/sjlrc-denies-fenwick%E2%80%99s-claim

  54. Since I have been back i asked lasana for a follow up but he has been busy with elections

  55. Well said Dion Sosa and good to have you back….maybe at some point you will update us on your Turkish venture?

  56. WE HAVE A WEIRD MENTALITY
    SOME OF US

    AS SOON AS SOME TRINIS SEE A CAUCASIAN THRY LOSE TGEIR BRAIN AND FORGET TO ANALYSE. CRITIQUE QUESTION

  57. Gordon Pierre that’s why i am making the statements. The same criteria is used with the men and women’s rankings. Women’s teams play less games generally their male counterparts so a couple games can either sky rocket or deflate ur rankings. My point is though US women are the best team in the world and Canada is another top team in world football and our women’s teams have been able to compete with them in the last few years. I doubt very much that The MNT can compete with the top ranked teams in the men’s game.

  58. As for Marcus Gomez he is by far the best 21 year old in Trinidad he is so talented that football is so natural to him he does everything so easily he is a super star if he gets his head right he can be a mega star

  59. Your fans was missing you on wired eh, so ah had to mention about the Europe trials and thanks for responding but don’t stop there your input is always appreciated with regards to fixing our professional league so share your wisdom with us eh.Dion Sosa

  60. Mango you won’t believe it more difficult to get into the mls than Europe in Europe a player has many more opportunities than in the US who want marquee intl players to fill stadiums while in Europe the fan base is already there so teams only need to focus on winning to please fans

  61. Kester Lendor u of all ppl should know women ranking differ! An inactive team ranks 150 two wins u are ranked 35
    to compare the men or women game through ranking is not based in fact. The men draw with gold cup winners mexico during the tournament and again recently when mexico drew with argentina. Our women have not been able to get results against concacaf top teams where its the top three and the rest

  62. The only practical route to get there to be self sufficient is as I have always been saying the bootleg professional league needs to be in the communities where they can print the shirts and sell them in the communities amongst other things the only person and team I see had these ideas and implemented them was Kevin Harrison at Central FC once the teams are representing their communities the game and the players standards will be at a greater higher level and when the Soca Worries doesn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup this will be the reason why because we depends to much on the foreign base players who doesn’t give 100 percent because of injuries and I don’t blame them because the corrupted TTFA would just throw them by the way side but on the other hand if we raise the standards of our local players at home they are the ones that will always give 100 percent because they will be looking for real professional contracts abroad in the real professional leagues perfect example when Dion Sosa took the players for try outs in Europe recently eh, how many made it to be seen again 2 or 3 eh which tells us our players are not ready as yet but some of them really think that they are they need to settle for trying out in the MLS first yes where they might have better chances Them really good yes

  63. Looking forward to that conversation Mark Snell.

  64. That’s the end game everyone wants Mark Snell. The problem is identifying the most practical route to get there.

  65. Lasana Liburd I would love to discuss from my perspective here in the US, but also knowing the T&T football landscape fairly well I have my own ideas on how it should work there,,,but the end game is that every club needs to be self sufficient

  66. Gordon Pierre to some extent Chabeth Haynes is correct. Our WNT are ranked higher than the men’s. Additionally, we play in a qualification system that includes the number 1 ranked team on the globe USA. The number 11 ranked Canadians, 24th Mexicans and 35th ranked Costa Ricans. This is comparable to the men having to qualify out of a group with Argentina, Spain, France and Ecuador or Poland. (lol) That is the reality in the women’s game as compared to the men.

  67. Chabeth Haynes and just to let you know that it wasn’t Bahrain that our sweet country had to play eh, it was another country with a long name that had a problem and the corrupted Jack Warner took advantage of that and allowed Bahrain to take their spot eh, he really orchestrated that 2006 World Cup qualifying to make certain that it only happened under is reign yes I wonder what the corrupted TTFA is waiting on to play against them in a friendly eh. Them really good yes.

  68. hahaha not yelling madam just exclaiming for emphasis!! lol

  69. Gordon, if you no longer want to discuss, that is fine. But why are you yelling? Lol. I’m not. I thought we were discussing, not arguing.

  70. Some time logic amazes me!!! I will leave u with this in 2006 the men had 3 1/2 and made it in 2014 the women 4 1/2 in reality and did not make it!! and the WPL was two rounds of football which is comparable to women proleague around the world the only reason it was called a tournament is bc it had not age group structures please do your rearch and make logical arguments!! Check the womens proleague in usa or around the world and before u talk about the number of teams remember the player pool in trinidad bc the salary was comparable to womens league around the world and the same can not be said about the men league

  71. And when the men qualified in 2006, it was because CONCACAF got the playoff spot against Bahrain (not sure if I’m phrasing that right, but I know you know what I mean). Since then the men have not qualified even though there was expansion since 2006.
    And aren’t the men out of Olympic qualification? Wasn’t it a first round exit?
    And that women’s tournament cannot be compared to the league that the men play. Hence it was a tournament and the men have a league. Be serious. LOL.

  72. Performance needs to be put in context!! and yes d tournament was named WPL check its meaning

  73. Chabeth Haynes i will explain!! The world cup this year was expanded which led
    to concacaf getting 3 1/2 places and the tournament was held in canada to in reality concacaf got 4 1/2 trinidad finish behind usa canada mexico and costa rica which occured this wc qualification as usuall but the above situation made ppl who do not follow women aware but in reality it was no major improvement in performance!! the women olympic qualification is yet to start

  74. Uncle Earl I looking for funding first…this business thing on your own is ketch a$$ in sweet TT. But sure I could stry and sponsor a trophy too…

  75. Not doing better? Who got closer to the most recent WC? And who is still in the running for Olympic qualification?
    And what women’s pro league? The tournament Sancho had this year?

  76. Chabeth a lot of them come thru the school system then go on to College….and yeah dey whining a lil bit but they working hard

  77. Savitri Maharaj you really going and start a sports business very nice because now I don’t have to always hut up meh head to find the sponsors to honor the top goalscorer of our professional league and I know that if the good Lord takes me home you will make certain that it will be done every season and in return I am positively certain that you will get plenty support and will be rewarded thanking you in advance. Blessings

  78. Chabeth Haynes there is a womens proleague and no the women are not doing better than the men but thats a whole next conversation!1

  79. Hahaha cousin Savitri Maharaj u too much but i hear u!!

  80. Mind you eh, Savitri, it have no women’s pro league and the women’s teams reaching further internationally than the men. So again, how helpful is this pro league really in its current form?

  81. Good stuff uncle Earl…we need to just do quite a lot eh.

  82. I went to do some business for a lil bit and all this…anyway cousin Gordon read Nicholas’s comment above…this is what Im/we saying. I want the govt to start supporting my business too…and for all you know I going to start a sports business cause it looking lucrative.

  83. Some folks think that he is bypolar and I know that it have a cure for that illness even if we have to get him to the America when I was leaving the last time when I was there in our sweet country I met a worker in the airport and during the conversation she told me that she was from Maloney and I was sharing my concerns about him and the environment that he comes from and she said that I shouldn’t give up on him our youths just needs the right guidance and right folks behind them so as Nike says lets just do this my nephew.

  84. I hear u uncle!! Northeast stars manager checked me with that assignment to yes will have to follow up tho!!

  85. Gordon Pierre I saw this player some years ago that represent our sweet country on the youth team and he has developed into another Rusell Laterpy or even he might be much better but he really needs some guidance and help he really have the potential to be the next greatest player that will represent our sweet country and also make it professional abroad he hails from Maloney and his name is Marcus Gomez I am not giving up on him and I will be coming back home to be his mentor and big brother but I also need the help from you eh because I know that you is a real professional at what you do

  86. How does the Pro League improve if gov’t keeps giving money & the League itself [club owners] believe they are doing great & gov’t should do more? To me it’s the 15 year issue

  87. Lasana, how many teams were in the republic bank youth tournament that took place over the holidays?I need to get an understanding of how any kids playing football. And then how many kids in schools’ league. What size base we talking about here?

  88. And in order to also stage Youth World Cup men/ women tournaments in our sweet country I was told that there must be a professional league in place.

  89. We trying not to pelt yuh Savitri Maharaj! Lol. It is a very good convo we are having btw.

  90. Only Pro League players go on to represent Trinidad and Tobago on the international stage or to become millionaire like Kenwyne Jones… So it does play a very real role in the development of football talent.

  91. cousin Savitri Maharaj you gone to far there!! The proleague is a feeder to big leagues around the world motivate thousands of young ones to take football as a career path and keeps the dream alive!! Keron ball pest cummings roller coaster career is a very recent example of the proleagues value!!

  92. And yes although I will always say it is a bootleg professional league I agree with Gordon Pierre with respect to the football development and employment for our young folks especially in the depressed areas but again the league needs to be in the communities to accumulate more funds and crowd support and yes the government should also assist with the funding of the league because this is another deterrent against the crime situation in our sweet country.

  93. But 15 years is still a long time to be propping some one up. It can be compared to CEPEP (now doh pelt me)

  94. Well, we have all been saying the same thing then Savitri Maharaj. My concern is I felt Chabeth was hinting that the Gov’t should drop them now and say 15 years is enough time…
    And we still seem to disagree on what form the Govt help should take. But i’d be happy if we agree that the Gov’t should help.

  95. That exactly is what Chabeth was alluding to Gordon, not carrying them for eternity.

  96. The proleague is necessary not only for the direct empolyment of ppl but the national football development !! To be honest i do not think enough has been done to make it a profitable business but its value in the national set up is undoubtable especially in depressed areas

  97. The professional league as I will always call it is a bootleg league and until the standards of the league are raised our football will remain on the level that it is and the prove to my point is when our top teams in the league competes against the teams in the real professional leagues abroad and always get beat bad, bad, bad. Them really good yes

  98. Yeah, and you find if Ma Pau was a pro league club, they should get a million dollars from the government. Every year. In perpetuity. ?????

  99. Chabeth Haynes and Savitri Maharaj, the Pro League only yesterday made its decision on Ma Pau’s application. But the Ma Pau release suggested that the club was rejected conclusively over a week ago.
    The Ma Pau release was really badly misinformed and that is saying plenty for how this thing is such a sorry mess.

  100. The Pro League is really a board made up of current Club owners. In all regards & respects, I don’t see them as relentless sport oriented businessmen willing to work together to further the League or even allow respective clubs/communities part ownership.

  101. Oh, I hope he’s on my side then. Ha!
    And yes, Lasana Liburd, I am talking about making adjustments to reduce the direct financial burden on the state.
    Seriously, over a million dollars every year to a private company, in perpetuity, from a state with a developing economy to a sport that is the highest earning in its sector. You really don’t find that problematic?

  102. Yuh really think I would? Knowing how they’ll probably pass my business plan on to their friends and famalee…been there already eh…

  103. Savitri Maharaj, I haven’t even tried to apply for funding either. But you would probably have a better chance than me.
    There are lots of grants available in different fields to be honest.

  104. Lol. Snell is a former official at a MLS club Chabeth Haynes. Since we mentioned their league, he might be able to help. 😉
    And who said the Pro League didn’t make adjustments? Or has shown no sign of progress?
    You are assuming that based only on fact that they still receive subventions. But there are other ways to mention progress.

  105. I am not saying I see no benefit Lasana. I see benefit. But how many business receive state funding for 15 years?! Without making any significant adjustments to try to become financially viable?
    And please don’t invite anybody else into the discussion. You and Jamaal Shabazz are more than enough for me to handle! If ppl come, then they come, but we don’t need to issue invitations! haha!

  106. Lasana, my small business could employ young nationals, willing to work and learn something new to take them forward, they can also play their football once we get our work done. Where do I go for the funding now?

  107. Idk about the story, Lasana Liburd. Didn’t Jamaal say in the story that he was trying to get people on board? So Idk. But the TTPS is investigating so we might have some answers before the next WC.

  108. Mark Snell, what do you think about this Pro League issue with regards to State funding?

  109. If a business is helped to the point that it starts to thrive in T&T. One that is employing young nationals, you don’t see the benefit to the State and the country and taxpayers Chabeth Haynes?

  110. Good point Savitri Maharaj.
    Chabeth Haynes check this:
    “The grant funding was indeed paid by the Ministry to facilitate the payment of the registration fee. However, it was subsequently communicated to us by the Pro League that Ma Pau’s application was rejected by a vote of 3 against 1 for and 1 abstention. In the circumstances Ma Pau immediately issued a cheque in the identical amount to return the funds to the Ministry.”

    That is a direct quote from Ma Pau that contradicts everything said by the Sport Ministry, the Pro League and even the initial Guardian story.
    So whoever wrote that Ma Pau release seems not to even know what they are talking about. Either that or everyone else is lying including multiple sources from different bodies.

  111. What I am saying Lasana Liburd is that private enterprise is an investment where you reap rewards over the long term. It is not a situation where you go to the government because the going is rough. I am not saying that you should expect to or that anybody profits over night. But that is not the nature of private enterprise. Let’s say these teams eventually do start turning profits, is there any provision to even repay the state? So our tax dollars are being used to bolster private enterprise which might then turn a profit and not repay us? That is madness.
    But I though twe agreed to disagree since last night. 😛

  112. The alleged forged signature is new. Who forged it? There is no suggestion as to who might have done that.
    And yet neither the PS nor the Pro League saw any indication of fraud until the Sport Minister and his Advisor found out about the deal.
    Is that suspicious?
    Of course I would like to hear more about that forged signature. I don’t believe anything that isn’t verified. And I’ve verified everything I wrote with several sources.

  113. I was also under the impression that the cheques was never cashed, but here Ma Pau is saying they wrote a cheque to the MoS?

  114. I don’t know that the MLS received Gov’t money. So you all are saying the fact that I’ve showed a league that needed over two decades to turn a profit means nothing if it wasn’t State money being used?
    I’m giving you an example of how some industries might need patience and you can measure progress in other ways.
    Look at YouTube Chabeth Haynes. The company made loads of progress without making a cent. It isn’t just about measuring your business in dollars and cents.
    But it looks like we are getting to where we must agree to disagree.

  115. I don’t remember the bit about the $150,000 and the allegedly forged signature coming out before. But nobody said it contradicted your story. We all trust your journalistic integrity. We wouldn’t be here otherwise 🙂

  116. Lasana Liburd, is there any attempt by the Pro League and its clubs to wean themselves off of state support?
    I am not saying that at this very moment we just say cut all funding, but steps have to be taken and adjustments have to be made for the pro league and its teams to become self-sufficient. A country with a developing economy has no business giving money to private companies year in year out.

  117. Chabeth Haynes, the Ma Pau release was virtually responding to the Guardian story. So no surprise that it matched.
    But there are loads of holes in the story in my opinion. And it doesn’t contradict a single line of my article.

  118. Can I apply to the gov’t for funding too? I have a small business, not making massive profits (sometimes none at all), but as the situation stands, I might have to turn to crime too

  119. Was the MLS subsidised by the US government Lasana?

  120. Lasana Liburd, are you telling me that if wired868 is failing for 15 years, you are not going to make any changes?
    The US government funded the MLS?

  121. Check other leagues worldwide and see how long it took them Chabeth Haynes. The MLS started in 1993. It didn’t start making money until within the last five years or so.
    I have given you several examples in international sport.

  122. Savitri Maharaj, the part about the $150,000 is concerning, I think the guardian’s report was an accurate representation of the media release.

  123. I don’t think that the classification of ‘industry’ is appropriate Lasana.

  124. 15 years is not a new business, Lasana. 15 years?!

  125. The pro league needs to find a better marketing strategy so they can generate revenue. Tell them to try starting the league during the vacation period to see if more ppl come. For the first month all the games could be free to try to get people emotionally invested in a team. Second month charge a nominal feel and see if people still come. But they need to do something, anything differently. You cannot engage in same failing strategies for 15 years and just expect government handouts. They are private enterprises.

  126. Do new companies not need time to start generating profit Chabeth Haynes? I think it would be shortsighted to drop the Pro League before you are certain that you analysed the issues it faces and tried to correct them.
    In a best case scenario, the clubs would do that itself. But this industry is too important to just let die.

  127. Lasana Liburd, I didn’t say you said he disagreed with me. He said I was myopic but then agreed with me. Idk what that makes him. Hahahaha!
    And diversify from oil and gas means find other revenue streams for the country… not ways to give private companies more money because they not working hard enough to raise funds themselves.

  128. Sport does not generate revenues in a direct tangible sense in Trinidad Chabeth Haynes. Just like calypso. We established that already.
    Besides, calypso was around since before Independence. The Pro League is 15 years old.

  129. I never said he was disagreeing with you Chabeth Haynes. Lol. And I agree that the season starts at the wrong time.
    But I disagree that the Gov’t should not pay salaries if that is what this industry needs.
    We always talk about diversifying from oil and gas. But do we consider what that means and the different ways it can be done?

  130. Chabeth Haynes – my apologies. Please forgive me:-) First time interacting with you on this blog. I know better now.

  131. Lasana, but Scotty is agreeing with me that the state should not be funding the pro league in perpetuity. And again, how long is long enough? If you are in a situation for 15 years and not getting the results you want, you continue in the exact same situation or make adjustments? And if football is generating so much revenue, why does the government need to be giving teams $87,000 a month?

  132. But Lasana Liburd, I never said the government should not be involved at all. I said the government should not pay the salaries of employees in private companies. Added to which, in an earlier comment I said the games should be aired on CNMG to help spark interest in the league and then maybe eventually ppl will start going to the games.
    But on a point of marketing… why doesn’t the league’s season start during the August vacation when ppl are looking for stuff to do with their families instead of at the end of September when ppl are busy and tired already? Wouldn’t an earlier start in the year also help with not being in the offseason during the Concacaf Champions league?

  133. Actually, Pro League coaches and players do help run Ministry of Sport camps Carlos Lee. I’m not sure how many other ways there is synergy. But I agree with your points.
    Chabeth Haynes, you have made a good case for why the Government should help market the Pro League eh. They can start by giving them a certain amount of advertising space on Gov’t-owned media companies and even covering their matches.
    That way the Govt would ensure that they get something back too.
    I agree the clubs should do more. But you cannot give a man barely enough money to stay afloat and then berate him for not running the business like Microsoft.

  134. Carlos Lee, I am female and I feel like I’ve contributed greatly to this discussion. Why you can’t include me in your praise about the value of the discussion? ??
    (Just teasing here.)

  135. Interesting developments here….forget the blah blah on social responsibility etc..but the first paragraph is very telling

  136. Wayne Caesar, it is the responsibility of the Pro League and the respective teams to market the league so that people come to the games.
    If a business does nothing to attract customers, it cannot just go to the government and say “we’re having a tough time. Please pay our employees.” That is not what private enterprise is about or how it should function. Private enterprise is an investment where you see returns over a period of time. That is the nature of the beast.
    And sport business is actually a little easier than say they restaurant business because clubs can get brand sponsorship. These clubs need to work harder to make their business profitable. Not just expect the government to give them $87,000 every month. If your restaurant is failing you shut it down (and people lose their jobs and the government doesn’t intervene because it thinks people will turn to a life of crime) or you sell it, and if the government sees real value in it, then yes, they can buy it.

  137. Excellent discussions fellas. I had to attend to business so had to drop out from the blog for a bit. From assessing the above comments one thing that is clear and something we all seem to agree with is that football is in important sport in TnT, and a viable professional league is something that is beneficial to have. It’s good for the development of our national teams and as an employment source for our people. Where opinions seem to diverge is with respect to how should the pro league and pro league teams be funded and what role the government should play? Personally, I think government has a role to play, but not necessarily by financially footing the bill to sustain the pro league and por league teams, thereby making it another social welfare program, similar to the old “10-days” system. Government’s involvement should be in areas such as the creation of stronger or better incentives/policies to encourage the business sector and wealthy individuals to embrace their corporate social responsibilies (CSR). Tax breaks is one way to go, but as Lasana indicated earlier this incentve is already in place, but not fully embraced by the business community. Government could help to encourage better update of the CSR concept. This could be done with carrots and with a sticks. From a stick point of view, no state contracts should be awarded to business entities with a poor or negligible CSR track record. Alternatively, every state contract could come with some type of CSR component, where potential contractors, as part of the application process, must highlight how they will improve the conditions and well-being of the people in the community where they operate. This could involve things like refurbishment of football fields in the community; sponsorship of sporting and /or cultural groups; and adoption of and partnership with community schools, just to highlight a few. Government could also support football by partnering with pro league teams to conduct football and other sporting camps on evenings, weekends, and during the summer. Programs like the above would serve as excellent ways to help stem the crime wave, by helping to keep our youths pre-occupied with positive activities within their communities. These camps, which could be full day camps during the summer vacation period, would also serve as an excellent day care for working parents, providing a safe haven for their kids. How would the pro league teams benefit? Well, they will not conduct these camps for free, they will compete for funding / contracts to run the camps on behalf of the government, thereby raising significant revenues, which can then be reinvested in their organizations.

  138. Lets think as we should, this is just food for thought why not take all the monies from gambling and give half to sport and the other half to culture, then no tax payers money will be wasted? sense? thats is what England does with theirs. Ha Ha Ha.

  139. Chabeth Haynes……Your Honour,I rest my case!!!!! That is exactly my point. If no-one goes to the game, I would like to hear your suggestions as to how they should maintain themselves. There are games on different days at different times, you didn’t go to any because you had training or couldn’t find anyone to go with you. I am not speaking about anything “TECHNICAL” here. I have no more to say on this, I will continue reading your comments.

  140. Here is the Ma Pau release thanks to Keith Clement:

    Ma Pau Responds

    From recent reports in the press it would appear that Ma Pau has somehow unwittingly become caught up in the imbroglio between Terry Fenwick and other persons unconnected to Ma Pau and the Ministry of Sport

    An examination of the history of this matter is necessary so as to bring proper perspective to the public matter. Ma Pau Sports Club is an organisation which gave years of service to the poor and downtrodden from depressed communities in Trinidad and Tobago. This football club has previously operated in the pro league. However, for reasons which are not now relevant Ma Pau Sports club took a hiatus from the pro league. As is customary with arrangements of this kind Ma Pau asked that its status as a pro league club be voluntarily suspended for the usual period.

    After some time Ma Pau Sports club applied to the pro league to be rejoined as a member. At the same time Terry Fenwick applied to the Ministry of Sport for a registration grant to be paid in order to facilitate the club in rejoining the pro league. The grant funding was indeed paid by the Ministry to facilitate the payment of the registration fee. However, it was subsequently communicated to us by the Pro League that Ma Pau’s application was rejected by a vote of 3 against 1 for and 1 abstention. In the circumstances Ma Pau immediately issued a cheque in the identical amount to return the funds to the Ministry. Thus, in this regard Ma Pau stands entirely blameless.

    Ma Pau wishes to place on record that Mr. Terry Fenwick is not now nor has been the Coach of Ma Pau S.C. Mr. Fenwick sought to enter into an arrangement with Ma Pau to manage the Football team if it were elected into the pro league. The team was not and our arrangement with Mr. Fenwick ended.

    The police has shown our ex chairman, Mr. Kenroy Phillips, an application for $150,000.00 for the development of youth football. Mr. Phillips has confirmed that the signature which purports to be his on the application is indeed a forgery. Ma Pau F.C. has never requested such monies from the Ministry nor has it received any such monies.

    This apparent attempt to defraud the Ministry by the use of a forged application herein is known to the Police. Ma Pau expects the police to conduct a swift and fair investigation into this matter and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

    Ma Pau is well known throughout Trinidad and Tobago as being a leader in the area of social responsibility of corporate entities. Ma Pau has consistently invested in communities and individuals. Ma Pau takes very seriously its role and responsibility of assisting the underprivileged of society and generally of serving the society as a whole. Ma Pau has spent the last twenty years cultivating its excellent name and reputation and its staff, management and customers are indeed saddened to see that an attempt to sully this good name is being made by the fraudulent act of some.

    Over the years Ma Pau has built a pristine name synonymous with fairness, integrity and a commitment to social responsibility and will not lightly tolerate any attempt to sully this good name and reputation.

  141. When I made comparisons to the BBC or calypso I meant Chabeth Haynes. But go see about your business before you turn to a life of crime! Lol

  142. There is a reason that there is a place called Charlie King junction today in Fyzabad. You all not looking at the thing from the eyes of those who need that subsidy and infrastructure to build an industry. Charlie King dead but he lives in a system that wants to deny certain sectors opportunity. Ok Chabeth go and read about Butler he understood economics and bread and butter politics

  143. Hahahaha! Jamaal Shabazz, I have to go otherwise I will be the one ending up hungry and neither you nor Lasana Liburd will be there to feed me and I don’t want to be forced to turn to crime at this age.
    Me, shift goal posts? I said from the beginning that I object to a public policy stance where the state is paying the salaries of employees of a private company. In any sector. That position is unchanged.

  144. Although Chabeth kept trying to move the goalposts. Lol.

  145. But it was a nice and very interesting chat Kendall Tull, Chabeth Haynes and Carlos Lee. I enjoyed it as always.

  146. Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler understood this thing clear clear clear.

  147. The State pays for the hosting of the shows too. The receipts goes to the calypso body and not back to the State.
    So the State does not make any money directly from calypso.
    And I already tried to point out the social benefit of the Pro League as well as the use of Gov’t stadia and spin offs to taxi drivers, sport stores, concession stands, etc.

  148. Chabeth yu cannot just run off and leave we hungry.

  149. But Lasana Liburd, how much money is going to calypso tents? and the state has the opportunity to make back the money, at least in part, when state entities host calypso shows – calypso fiesta, dimanche gras etc etc. How is the state making back the money it gives to these pro league clubs?

  150. And are calypsonians not also “hardback men?”

  151. I agree with your social analysis Jamaal Shabazz. Our opinions divert on how and when we should start providing for the masses. Thanks again. Bye.

  152. Chabeth Haynes, are the calypso tents not all private entities just like the clubs? Fair point on white collar crime btw.

  153. And yes, our flagship is sport and culture. Please show me how much money the government is giving to PRIVATE companies in culture with no end in sight.

  154. When we want to be fair and proper and all transparent and fiscal and all the nice words. We must first remember Lasana that when a child hungry it have to be fed. And a people who has been systematically been at the bottom of the economic ladder will not just come out of their condition. We will have the Prof Carlos and the Bro Tull who did good for themselves but in terms of the masses provisions need to be made and things put in place to build an industry that can employ them. Or else when you hungry and you have no food and you see a man feeding his dog steak. You would be inclined to go and take the steak from the dog to feed your family.

  155. What, Lasana? Now you’re talking about white collar crime? You think the pro league is helping with that?

  156. It is never too late Chabeth Haynes. I don’t think so at all. I have interviewed loads of people who made life altering decisions in their late 20s and 30s.

  157. Ok. But seriously, thank you both for interacting with me. I really have to go and attend to life off of Facebook now.
    And just one note… Jamaal was coming over to my side before you came back on Lasana.

  158. Chabeth Haynes, gangs are barely responsible for a fraction of the crime in this country. So I would say the age that young men join gangs isn’t that relevant.
    A band of lawyers just put down a $12 million heist. We need to see when they passed the bar. Lol.
    And it isn’t that the UK has more money. We need to understand their thinking.
    Our flagship in Trinidad is sport and culture. That is how we project ourselves internationally. And we should consider that in how we spend.
    I think it worthwhile for the Gov’t to pump more money into both fields. Once, as Kendall Tull said, there is a cogent plan and accountability.

  159. Jamaal Shabazz, a level playing field cannot be created when ppl are adults. It needs to happen when they are children.

  160. True on BBC, Kendall Tull. But the point is at some stage the British Government saw value in the BBC.
    Of course the average citizen there would not understand it. BBC was Britain’s flag in the rest of the world. Our impression of Brits is partly informed by BBC’s quality. The Gov’t understood that.
    The point stands that an industry can be worth more its tangible returns on the dollar.

  161. Lasana, most ppl who join gangs are doing so AFTER the age of 25? I never said in ALL cases, I said for the most part.
    And I never said the BBC was a good investment by the state. In fact, there was and IMF (I think it was IMF) report years ago that said the state here should stop funding a local media outfit. I don’t see why that philosophy shouldn’t apply to the BBC. But in any case, 1. the British have more money than us and 2. are you saying that the public service provided by the BBC is comparable to what the pro league is doing for us here?
    (we getting tangential with this dialogue now eh. lol)

  162. Lol. I don’t buy doubles from just anyone Jamaal Shabazz. I can’t promise you anything there!

  163. 15 years is joke when you not playing on a level playing field. We at the bottom of the hill trying to kick the ball up the hill it cannot reach unless someone carry it up. Better we go and sell clothe and doubles and see if we could own buildings from that in pos and chaguanas. For you to compete you need a level playing field. Eric Williams children love him show undying loyalty to him especially in Laventille East and West and we dont have any facilities. And now we getting a little oxygen just to stay alive Chabeth want to pull the plug. I going and sell clothe yes. Way the doubles man boy

  164. I agree with you Kendall Tull. I fully endorse a proper plan for how assistance is provided. I just don’t agree that the Pro League should be cut loose to survive based on the whims of the private sector. Not yet anyway. And not for some years well.
    Btw Chabeth Haynes, Serie A is one of the biggest leagues in the world and it still operates on State assistance. I think only one team in the whole top flight owns the stadium it plays in. They all generally play on State facilities.

  165. Following the mistakes of others doesn’t make any sense though. The BBC model is a nonsense especially now.

  166. People don’t get into crime after 25? I would love to see your stats there Chabeth Haynes. Lol. That isn’t true at all. In many cases, crime is a result of need and opportunity.
    Britain is not short of proper media houses. So why pay for the BBC?
    It is an example that sometimes State investment is about more than getting its money back. And I don’t see why people shouldn’t bear those things in mind in this thread.
    If you make it sound preposterous that the Gov’t would be spending taxpayers dollars on the Pro League after 15 years, why is it irrelevant to speak of British taxpayers funding the BBC after decades? I’m sure plenty of our sugar money went into the BBC too.

  167. The BBC funding is actually a major topic right now in the UK and is likely to change in the near future. Brazil has wasted billions builing stadia that have no business case so I don’t accept that example.

    And with all due respect Lasana, 500 people are irrelevant in the scheme of things so you need a better argument. We just vilified the PP administration for paying 200 employees of a private company but it’s ok for 500? Just asking.

    There has to be a cogent plan because we cannot just continue to spend money without one. My offer stands regarding the planning session.

  168. Lasana Liburd, if the pro league has been around for 15 years and the clubs are still reliant on the state for operation, the the model is clearly not working.
    The British pay a specific tax to fund the BBC. And this is done to keep the BBC commercial free and free of corporate influence so I really don’t think the two situations are comparable.
    Anybody who is getting into crime in this country, for the most part, isn’t doing so at 25. It happens much younger so I think the state’s investment would be much more useful at the younger level but I understand what you are saying about having the pro league as the next level for kids to look forward to.
    I think we are clear on each other’s position and we still disagree. Hahaha! But at least now, you’re talking about an exit date. Still, thanks to you and Jamaal Shabazz for the dialogue.

  169. The Pro League has been here since the start of the century Chabeth Haynes. I wish the Sport Minister would consider what it needs to get to the next level and assist with that. Money isn’t everything and there are other crucial needs.

  170. To spend on the grassroots level is great but the young players must have something to progress to and that is what the Pro League is.
    Chabeth Haynes and Kendall Tull, the British government still funds the BBC but does not run it. And there are many employees there who get great salaries.
    The reality is we cannot afford to leave every industry to operate on the whims and fancies of the private sector.
    Carlos Lee, there is already a tax break for companies to get involved in sport. A good question might be how many companies pay the appropriate level of tax to begin with.
    And the Brazil Gov’t built most of the stadia in the country and injected billions up until the 1970s. And, yes, paid private employees too. Players like Pele and Diego Maradona were partly paid by State companies while they were players there.
    Age 19 to 29 might be hardback men in sport. But those are young men in society.
    For me, the Gov’t does have a social responsibility here. If the industry crumbles what are those 250 to 500 people directly involved in it going to do?
    Not to mention the children and parents and relatives and all the spin offs?
    The Pro League has gotten enough money to stumble on but not enough to kick on. I think it better to analyse what will help local football get to the next level and then provide it, have oversight and plan your exit date.

  171. Is there any transparency here? Do the clubs produce audited financials? Are the profits made from transfer fees channelled back into the club? Do they have a strategic plan on how they intend to move to sustainability? Is there a plan for the league as a whole in that regard? Sports clubs can make money from the micro scale upward. I refuse to accept the notion that state funding in perpetuity is a requirement for a successful league. I also dismiss the Argentine example because that was under a dictatorship in the 80s and there was no accountability for state funds. Argentina is still paying the price for that today so emulating that in any form is madness.

    I tell you what Lasana, I have some time at the moment. I am willing to spend some of it working with a task force to brainstorm a viable strategy for taking our sport forward. Pull in anybody you think can add value but there needs to be broad representation of the stakeholders.

  172. You are wasting your time Chabeth. They have a different perspective that is solely based on football. I think that they all take your point about the need for more development at the grassroots level though.

    And Wayne Caesar – how many games she attends isn’t relevant to the validity of the points she raised. The fact is in the face of the economic times,we need to spend wiser. There is no doubt that spending at the grassroots level will reach a larger audience than the funding of a Pro League.

    For my part, I don’t see any real effort to run football as a business starting from the TTFA. And Chabeth – don’t be fooled by the non-profit registration. That in no way means that making money isn’t what they aim to do. FIFA is a non-profit organisation that rakes in billions of dollars that funds the lifestyles of the Executive.

    To be fair, Lasana did allude to the need for oversight but if the structure is right, we can reduce that requirement.

  173. Wayne Caesar, none! But I know absolutely nobody who will go to a pro league game with me and I don’t feel like going by myself. Also, my schedule doesn’t always permit. Full disclosure: I am a coach in another sport and my practice times often clash with league games. For example I can’t go to the charity shield game tonight as I have practice. But if the games were on TV, even delayed I would watch.
    But you don’t have to go to a game to have a valid opinion on a public policy issue. This isn’t about the technical side of football. It’s about the public policy aspect of the pro league.

  174. However I telling you if the Pro League clubs get community stadia we do need state funds.

  175. People… somebody… ask Chabeth Haynes, how many local games he/she attended in the last season??? I would love to hear the level of support from this person.

  176. If there’s money to do both, why don’t we have heavy state investment at the grassroots level?
    The UNC consistently ran deficit budgets. They put the country in debt with their foolishness. Debt means we have no money.
    My sole objection with this situation is with the state giving money to private for profit companies. That is my only objection. I have no objection to the development of football or any other sport at any level.

  177. I am not following.
    If the state wanted to take over the whole pro league, I would not have a problem.
    My problem is with a policy that allows taxpayers dollars to be used to pay the salaries of employees of a private company. In any sector.
    And for the record, I don’t support giving Sat anything. Money. An audience. Anything.

  178. There is money to do both Chabeth why you trying to tie the people pockets. The UNC show us how ordinary people could become millionaires in 5 years. Why the footballers cannot get the industry built up. We never steal an airport we never bring in any land rovers is b14 we does buy.

  179. Why when it comes to Eric Williams children benifitting the state cannot do this and cannot do that. But when Sat and the clothe people children have to benefit these issues do not come into play.

  180. And more money is being spent on the elite which can accommodate fewer people than on the grassroots which can accommodate and where greater guidance is needed especially in terms of keeping kids away from crime.

  181. Jamaal, but I just said let the government pay you how much ever to run a youth program so that the whole country is dealing with Jamaal the coach.
    I am not saying people don’t have a right to state funds. I am saying it is madness to use state funds to pay employees of private companies which is what is happening with the pro league.
    And notice you mentioned a goal of one year eh. So again, I ask, how old is the pro league and when do these private clubs plan to become self sufficient?
    I don’t have a problem with the state helping in the beginning, but it cannot be that taxpayers dollars are going to private entities in perpetuity.

  182. Football has components . Grassroots like you talking about but there is also elite. When you plant the corn you have to develop a market to promote market and sell the corn. That is what the pro league will do.

  183. The state should help build industry that is what chamber and commerce is about. Building the industry is not just handing out cash. If they give me the ground in Morvant we will build a stadium and after 1 year i do not want any state funds God willing. Our people have a right to state funds in so far as it is to assist in building an industry to generate economic activity . The social spin offs I am a testimony. Chabeth you prefer to deal with Jamaal Shabazz as a coach or jamaal shabazz a gang leader misleading the young people.

  184. How old is the pro league and how long is it going to take these teams to become self sufficient? It seems as if there is no expiration date on the use of taxpayers’ dollars for this.
    I know nothing of the government propping up the horse racing industry. If that happened, that too is madness. Only rich people can afford to buy horses, so why the state should get involved is beyond me. But when you have a policy that says the state will offset operating costs for private sporting entities, then if the state does it for football, you cannot be vex if they do it for another sport. I think it is bad policy all around.
    Jamaal Shabazz, the community clubs that you speak of are the same as the pro league clubs?
    Let me make it clear, I have no problem with the state investing in football, but this is not the way to do it. I would have absolutely no problem, Jamaal, if for example the state paid you how much ever thousands a month for you to spearhead a youth football program across east POS and environs. You would have a team of properly paid coaches, you all would have practice across various venues every day and when a kid doesn’t show up for practice, you go and find out why. Shoot, the state could buy boots for all of them. I have no problem with that.
    You and Lasana are talking about this pro league as some sort of vehicle for keeping kids off the street. The pro league is big hardback men. Their relationship to crime has already been established. If you want to use football as a crime prevention strategy then your target audience has to be much much younger. You have to get to kids before they are 10, 11… I know, and I’m sure you do too, of kids who start transporting drugs and being consistently raped by men at that young age. Those are the people you are targeting if you want to claim you are using sport to prevent crime, not big grown men.
    The current arrangement with the government giving up to $87,000 per month to these teams is not doing anything to prevent crime. That’s over a million dollars to one club that could go into a national youth program for football or any other sport.
    I think it’s great that Ma Pau was willing to spend over $8 million to refurbish the field, but if they are getting $1 million back from the government annually, then they make back their money in 8 years, so fixing this field was an investment, not generosity. And if I could work that out, you think the Ma Pau people didn’t? They were interested in how they would make their money back. Well, as a taxpayer I’m interested in how I am making this money back.
    Are these pro league games aired on television? If they’re not and the state wants to help promote the pro league, tell them put the games on CNMG. Make it easy for us to watch the games. Maybe eventually, we show up to games and help generate revenue for these teams that way. I have no problem with that strategy.

  185. Giving corporate incentive is ideal I’m a society where corporate enterprise understands the role they should play in helping to build the nation by sponsorship in sports and culture. Most pro leagues in the world started with a major input from corporations or state. Then after years they can move to stability and self sufficiency. These are still days where clubs need that help from government. Prof Carlos Govt prop up the horse racing industry for years I ain’t hear a cry. Trust me the investment made in the community clubs are much needed and preventative in nature. Let it stop and see who will pick up that slack with our young people

  186. Hi Carlos Lee, thanks!
    Tax breaks are always a good idea. I know with the local film industry however, they didn’t work out as the Manning government had hoped. Companies still weren’t very keen to support film development. But I have no objection to trying it with sport, if it’s not already in place. Who knows, it might work for that sector.
    I think the bottom line however, is that we don’t have a very generous corporate culture here, at least it feels that way.
    It would be great if somebody could produce a document showing what percentage of their profits, corporate Trinidad and Tobago invests in socially beneficial initiatives. Maybe they do give a lot and I just don’t know.

  187. Kester Lendor, where yuh? (And I know that you’re not sold on the Pro League either. Lol)

  188. Scotty Ranking

    Mr. Haynes. Not taking a dig at you personally. But I think your view of the necessity of the Pro League is a bit myopic.
    Football has long left the realm of amateurism and is firmly in the realm of professional pursuits. this professionalism has resulted in a significant elevation in the quality of football played at all age levels and the revenues generated by the sport. If Trinidad & Tobago is to compete on the global level, it is imperative that we have at least one professional league in operation, forming a pool of players from which the national squads will be picked.
    An endeavour like this is going to require, initially, government assistance and funding until it can stand on its own. It should not be allowed to fail but I also will assert that it cannot become another Caroni (1975) Ltd., propped up by successive governments despite massive losses and few material benefits.
    The clubs will need to be run as professional commercial entities, hopefully profitable ones, with revenues coming in through a combination of gate receipts, sales and sponsorship. Once the league itself has a viable business plan (which it does), I see no problem with the teams receiving government funding in the initial years of existence. And that would apply to the formation of a professional local league for *any* sporting discipline. For a government to do less by its sportsmen is to reduce them to ensured vagrancy status, as their chances for success and further development will be severely limited.

  189. I fully support your sentiments Chabeth Haynes. Great points of view. A better way for government to get involved in supporting professional sports like football is to create better policies to encourage businesses to financially support these sporting organizations. If not already in place, businesses who donate $$$$ to sporting organizations should be afforded tax breaks. Their corporate social responsibility track record should also carry attaboy points when applying for government contracts. Many of these businesses, including the banking sector, make billions off the backs of customers who support them. However, these businesses hesitate to participate in initiatives that benefits society.

  190. Refreshing to hear all the cries to stop funding, i wonder if any of these people did the math on the figure in total that is given for young footballers to keep focus on their chosen profession, maybe less than ten million dollars per year, really people, really, this is the topic for discussion. The B.P.L is one of the richest leagues in the world and does any one know that Sport England still gives money to football in England, despite the richness of the league. They are hundred plus years old yet still the government sees the need to give smaller clubs financial assistance. Let me stop here hope some of us take the time to research what is happening and not give heart felt opinions.

  191. And you don’t like dancers, pick singers instead. My overall point was that there are other industries that are high earning…
    And the argentine state was paying the salaries of employees of argentine privately owned football clubs?
    But Argentina isn’t even a good example. Idk how they get so much props in the international football world. They have one legit WC title. A glorified footballing country best I could tell.
    What’s Brazil’s development history?
    And I agree, no sport can generate the revenue that football can which is why the state shouldn’t even have to get involved in the pro league. These clubs are just being encouraged to be lazy because they have the state to fall back on. If Ma Pau was willing to spend 8 mil and then some to refurbish a field in Morvant, you know how much money they have to have? There’s no way they would need state funding to run their club.

  192. Pro league clubs are not private for profit entities? They register as non- profits? Because the clubs being private for profit entities is the source of my issue and the basis of my entire argument. Lol. So if they’re non profits you should have said so earlier. ???

  193. I don’t see clubs as private for profit entities. That is for starters. I think out divergence of ideas starts there. Lol.
    Professional football in Argentina and Mexico is probably around 100 years old btw. And the State was pumping not taxpayers dollars into Argentine football up to the early 80s.
    And there is no single sport in the world that matches the financial might of football. That isn’t even a debate. Lol.
    There are footballers who never won anything that probably earn more than the best five dancers on the planet.

  194. I’m not advocating for the shutting down of any league. I love football too… Not to the point of being blindly biased like you clearly, (lol) but I love the game all the same. (Apparently no one else in the group watched the Argentina/Mexico friendly the other night) but from a purely public policy standpoint, the current pro league arrangement is madness.

  195. Lasana. Dear. I am not understanding what you are not understanding.
    Thesis statement: it is bad policy to use taxpayers’ money to fund the activities of private for profit companies.
    These clubs are private entities and the state is paying the salaries of their employees? Are you serious? Lol.
    By that rationale you have no problem with the state paying the salaries of all bank employees if the banks can’t afford to do it? Because obviously we can’t allow the banking sector to just fail.
    That is not how it works in the private sector. If you cannot afford to run your business, you shut it down or sell it.
    That is what should apply to the entire private sector.
    If these clubs cannot afford to exist, then somebody else should take them over. If that somebody else is the state then so be it. But the state cannot be paying the salaries of employees of private companies.
    And such a flippant dismissal of the dance class. You have any idea how much money there is to be made in the entertainment industry out there. It’s not properly supported here (outside of carnival) so ppl struggle to make it… But entertainers can easily surpass the earnings of footballers. Easily.

  196. Trinidad’s private sector by and large are not looking for investment opportunities. Just hand outs from the State too.
    You cannot just cut off the footballers and tell them to find private sector funding or get a job.
    Then you will need to employ them elsewhere anyway. Or they will find more unsavory jobs.
    The football industry might need propping up. But it is an industry.
    If I put the number of footballers who left pro league in the last three years to earn salaries abroad and send money home. No other sport will compare.
    No sense comparing it to dance class.

  197. How many grown men are in the pro league Lasana? Take that number put them in a squad training together, then divide them into teams and let them play each other.
    My problem isn’t with a league. It’s with taxpayers money being used to offset the operational costs of private entities. The government can pay for the whole thing. That doesn’t bother me.
    But if you’re going to pay for grown men to play football, then why not pay for girls to dance and boys to go hiking. Once you keep kids involved in activities you keep them off the street. So football (contrary to what you might think ?) is not more important than other things and taxpayer dollars cannot fund everything. And certainly shouldn’t fund the activities of for profit private entities.
    Have your football league, I’m not trying to take that away from you. Lol. Corporate Trinidad and Tobago has a lot of money. Taxpayers do not need to be funding the pro league.

  198. The international game doesn’t work like that. The only decent opposition you will get are during international match windows. That might be 15 games a year or 1,350 minutes per year. Now how do you divide that team between 50 players?
    You cannot have a strong national team without players playing regularly at the best possible standard. Our schools league is not good enough to prepare anyone for higher football and the Pro League is the best we can do.
    There is the Super League too which is largely amateur. But it means players don’t get to spend as much time at their craft.
    To do away with your domestic league is to do away with football. The only reason you were cheering during the Gold Cup is because of the Pro League.
    Four years ago, it was an almost totally locally team that helped us qualify for our first Gold Cup in seven years. We then hired Hart and our football has been at a decent level ever since.

  199. The two examples you just gave can be lumped into the same category as the current arrangement the state has with the pro league – bad public policy.
    That is my point. It is bad policy to pay rent for an unoccupied building and it is bad to pay lawyers insane amounts for little work.
    I understand it’s late. So I’ll give you guys some time to sleep and regroup and come back with stronger arguments. ??
    (Starting with… If we can’t really afford to have a properly funded pro league, why not do away with it (especially when it apparently can’t even be scheduled at the right time of year), have nothing but a national senior squad of 50 or so guys, pay them properly etc, and play friendlies with higher quality teams than what we would be playing against in the pro league, in preparation for international competition. I bet more ppl would come out to those matches than come out to the pro league at the moment.)

  200. Chabeth Haynes, we have a Catch 22. What our Pro League clubs spend in a year, most MLS teams would spend in their designated player alone in one month.
    Money isn’t everything but it helps. Pro League clubs should do more to raise cash themselves. But we won’t be going in the right direction if we started pulling money away.
    Especially when Faris’ family is earning millions in rent for an unoccupied building. And lawyers put in a $12 million bill for two half hour court appearances in Jack Warner court case.
    One bad deed doesn’t make another okay. But the Pro League just needs better oversight. Elsewhere the treasury is being raped in broad daylight.

  201. Both teams werent prepared for that tournament esp central Fc… Keep in mind these matches are in our off season… Look at the Local based players that are performing so well on the national team

  202. Sherdon Ifm Pierre, are you serious? Again, not to diss the pro league, but have you watched the CONCACAF champions league? Over four matches our two teams have combined to score one goal. So when you say “high”… relative to what?

  203. Well I am nobody’s parent, but I know parents who get excited and hyped about their kids graduating from pre-school as if every kid doesn’t do that. So I really don’t know how big anybody is dreaming for their kid these days. But I take your point…

  204. The level of the pro league is higher than most think..My only Problem is that teams need to focus on other stuff than football

  205. Playing in the pro league is a good transition point. Your dream isn’t for your children to have a primary school education either. But you know it will take them a step closer to university. ?

  206. And not to diss the pro league… But is playing in the pro league a kid’a dream here? Or are they all trying to get scholarships to the US and then play professionally overseas? So is the pro league really the goal? Is that what’s keeping kids focused?

  207. Lol. Depends. If you want returns on investment, you are talking about football or cricket which can quicker bring something back financially.
    But I agree that other sports should be helped although they are less developed at the moment and their sports probably aren’t as lucrative.
    For instance, the amount of students that get sport scholarships from the country and the millions that saves us and the way it helps us develop our work force… Our government should probably spend more on school sports and ensure better equipment and that sport grounds are properly taken care of.
    Footballers don’t get elite athlete assistance money btw.
    In any case, my issue is oversight not the spending.

  208. And I didn’t say investment in football should stop altogether eh. I said we should stop offsetting operating costs for private entities. That’s an across the board policy.

  209. And which young ppl are you talking about? The pro league is all adults, no?

  210. How many millions annually are we talking? Are you going to advocate that we spend that amount of money in another sport?
    I feel like you might have a football bias. ??

  211. And you do get returns on money invested when you convince a boy born in a family of gangsters to earn his living as a player rather than a criminal I think.
    I think Trinidad is better off with the Pro League.

  212. Each pro league club has between 20 to 30 players and between eight to 20 staff members. So the league employs between 250 to 500 persons.
    There is transport to games by players and fans, concession stands, use of the government stadia which are largely idle outside SSFL.
    The chance for young people to focus on something productive.
    Kenwyne Jones, Jason Scotland, Carlos Edwards, Dennis Lawrence and Khaleem Hyland are just some examples of players who started in the pro league and some would have earned millions by the time their career is over.
    At one time, Kenwyne was earning a million in a fortnight.
    I believe we can talk about better oversight on money spent in the pro league. But to say it should be stopped altogether or that it is wasted is crazy to me.

  213. And how are the monies that the state gives recouped?
    You mentioned calypso earlier. When the state gives money to private tents, the tents draw crowds who in turn attend calypso fiesta and dimanche gras etc which are for profit events run by state organisations, not private ones. Whether they make a profit etc is debatable.
    But the point is, it is bad public policy, especially for a country with a developing economy to be offsetting operating costs for private entities.
    Furthermore, if the state wants to help develop football and keep kids off the street, why are they investing all this money on the uppermost pyramid level and on adults? Youth football can employ ppl and has health and community benefits.
    I just think it’s bad policy. If your opinion differs then we disagree. As is customary. Lol.

  214. Pro League subventions assist football clubs and are generally spent on salaries. They do not help private companies get richer.

  215. The money doesn’t go to corporations really. I think the Government should supervise more closely to ensure that it is all spent the way we would want.
    But the money goes pay salaries really. Please understand that Ma Pau will be spend a few million over the course of the season on salaries not counting what they spend on the field.
    Clubs get between 60,000 to 83,000 a month from the Government. And player salaries are generally between 70,000 and 150,000 per month. So it would be wrong to believe that companies are siphoning up the money.
    Despite Ma Pau’s odd stance on the registration fee, they are definitely going to spend a lot of money on its football team.
    Why? Social responsibility? A love for sport?
    There isn’t a single company that gets involved in local football to make money.
    Instead, I’m sure businessmen like Darryl Mahabir and David John Williams try to ensure they don’t haemorrage too much cash.
    Of course there are some smart men in between who try to pocket a dollar or two. But that’s another story.

  216. Don’t hold your breath Chabeth.

  217. My main objection is with taxpayers’ money going to assist for profit corporations in any way.
    If the government wants to spend the necessary millions a year developing football leagues from kiddies to the pro league, and ensured that coaches and officials at the various levels get paid properly, I would have no objection.
    But to give corporations that probably have profit margins in the millions, taxpayer dollars, I find offensive.
    How old is the pro league? How long do these clubs need to develop themselves properly as businesses?

  218. Chabeth Haynes, the idea is to grow the football industry by helping the clubs while they improve themselves as businesses. It keeps many young people off the street and gainfully employed and so on. So it has a social benefit and a health and community benefit.
    The problem is there isn’t really any oversight to see if clubs are any closer to being self-sufficient. And clubs generally get to do as they like with the money as far as I’ve seen.
    Still, we all know certain industries would collapse without State assistance and they are too important to let die. Calypso would be an extreme example.
    It started as something for community clubs but quickly spread to even teams who have sponsors. So it is hard to say why Ma Pau should not get it if W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh and North East Stars get it despite having sponsors.
    Why does Ma Pau want the Sport Ministry to pay its registration fee? I find that bizarre too as Ma Pau can clearly afford it. So it seems an odd bit of gamesmanship.
    But the deal is still a good one for Morvant/Laventille as Donna Cox and Jamaal Shabazz said. So Ma Pau is insisting on some give and take and it makes sense to compromise when most clubs have no home grounds.

  219. My understanding is teams in rural or areas of high unemployment can access funds to allow for assistance in underwriting the running overhead costs of teams, or for the hiring of team staff, including players. Additionally, the logic is if we keep the youth gainfully involved, it should decrease or positively impact crime statistics, drinking, smoking, self esteem etc. lastly, playing in the Pro League can enhance community pride and allow for a fun family entertainment option. Just a part of the logic. Hope it helps..

  220. No I definitely am not saying that and if you look at my response I said they are not re: the turf. But I think rules and precedents are that and consistency across the board helps to prevent these nightmares from occurring. Great thread and I think it’s refreshing reading the comments.

  221. I am not understanding why taxpayers are giving money to pro league teams. But it’s probably too complicated to explain to me here so I’ll stay ignorant on this one. Good night.

  222. That was my primary point. Secondly, I did say it would be good to see in black and white what the objective criteria being used by the MOS to evaluate such requests are.

  223. Good question, not sure but they benefit like all the Pro League teams do and receive 87,000 pm

  224. I did not say that at all. However, are you saying it is fair to compare Ma Pau as a financial entity and Point Fortin Civic?

  225. Who is the corporate sponsor/owner of Point Fortin Civic?

  226. I appreciate objectivity. But what merit do you have in saying that Morvant doesn’t deserve the same treatment as Point if they warrant it. You are right Ma Pau maynot be the same, as they were assisting in funding a new field to Morvant. But a precent is just that, rules cannot change b/c it suits one party and not the other. Maybe if these policies were more transparent, we wouldn’t have these issues in the first place. The PS thought something, the advisor another…

  227. So parts of article we willingly accept and other parts we discount. I never mentioned “hotspot”. I want to be objective but I cannot accept Ma Pau is in the same, or anywhere near the same, financial situation as Point Fortin Civic. That is all

  228. I am referring to the article where it states that point Fortin was assisted and a precent set. I’m not making the information up and I certainly didn’t write it. Further, are you implying Morvant is not a “Hot Spot “area and shouldn’t be assisted. In addition just going on pure common sense if you read the first article my name was mention. I can state I was NEVER a party to any meetings etc with the MOS or this project, ever. So if that isn’t trying to be nasty then I don’t know what is…I agree with you on transparency in seeing these policies. If you visit the MOS website, the forms are there to examine and the criteria. Where is the PS in all this?

  229. to my knowledge, Point Fortin Civic is a community team without any real corporate sponsorship assistance and they are located in a high unemployment rural area. Not really sure anyone would compare Civic coffers with that of Ma Pau. Also, what proof is there Civic received that amount? Anyways, one would still need to see in black and white the objective criteria used to make decisions in the Ministry IMHO..

  230. If it’s not the norm. Can I ask how come it worked for Point Fortin Civic FC as stated in Lasana ‘s article? Amazing 400 Million went missing from the MOS but an ‘Investigation” is being carried out on a cheque that was never cashed or passed through anyone’s account…. PP Government working for you….

  231. Oh ok. I thought this was the norm. Glad to know it’s an anomaly. Thanks!

  232. ……that is a question being asked in the Pro League circle because this a pro venture…..I have no problem with the Ministry assisting clubs in the Pro League but to pay a Club’s registration is odd….

  233. Keith Clement, thank you for answering me! Now, why are taxpayers paying this and not the businesses who own the team?

  234. Ms. Haynes…..the $400.000 and not $450.000 is a one time fee…..Ma Pau did play in the league up to 2011 but suspended their License and since they did play for four years the License fee expired…

  235. Lasana send me your email and I will send you a copy of the Ma Pau release

  236. The release didn’t come to me Chabeth Haynes. Which isn’t unusual I guess since it is a new organisation that might have simply went with the dailies.

  237. Wouldn’t be surprised if it only went to the Guardian.
    But nothing’s wrong with playing fas and calling Ma Pau to ask them to send it to wired868. ?

  238. On another note, the registration fee that these pro league teams pay is an annual fee?

  239. Well maybe Lasana Liburd can get the Ma Pau release and post it for us so that we can all read for ourselves what it says.

  240. Not sure I would give this bogus article/journalist any credit. She’s the same journalist that wrote “cops probe Fenwick” … no cops on our door to date. She has also taken our press release and twisted the entire article again, against Terry. Further, the PFL still hasn’t given MA Pau a decision on being in the League nor was it ever suspended from the League

  241. The state has the same legal rights as any corporation Lasana. Whether it chooses to exercise those rights are another matter.

  242. Another thing Kendall Tull. If any group is paid by the Government on the promise that they deliver something, does the State have the power to sue if they don’t deliver?
    And I’m thinking of a general principle here.

  243. I still have hope in him Kendall Tull

  244. Trust me Lasana. I know what I speak of personally.

  245. A proper constitutional reform commission led by President along with independent and bipartisan stakeholders must occur.. we keep doing everything ion superficial ways Lasana Liburd

  246. But how can any Government make Permanent Secretaries stand up for themselves? Why would they?
    Only a strong Opposition and whistleblower legislation can help there, I think

  247. It does need to be addressed by a serious government interested in
    proper checks and balances.

  248. Sigh. I have tried Kendall Tull. But okay. And I do hope you’re right in your assessment.

  249. You are quite correct Brian. I have seen it myself as well.

  250. That’s a very strong statement Lasana. I have worked with the PS before and she does not fall into that category at all. You should make every effort to speak with her and I know that you will do the right thing if necessary.

  251. And the law regarding public servants speaking to the press inhibits them. We NEED whistleblower protection.
    Too many people are using confidentiality clauses to hide misdeeds and crimes.

  252. I was just speaking to someone about constitutional and public service reform being my hot button issue. We all may believe permanent secretaries are above politics but they are not. I know personally of a few permanent secretaries who stood up to ministers on spending issues and they were summarily reassigned.

  253. I haven’t been able to speak to PS yet. So I want to be fair to her.
    But if she really allowed herself to be dictated to by an advisor no less… She doesn’t deserve her portfolio in my opinion.

  254. Lasana, yuh preaching this morning! I couldn’t agree more…we need people with backbones of steel in all our institutions, people who are willing to stand up and be counted and say NO when it’s necessary.

  255. I think the biggest issue I have in this entire thing is the Permanent Secretary. She is protected by our public service regulations and yet appears to allow herself to be directed by a Minister’s advisor?
    It is precisely public servants with that kind of weak thinking that put the country into the mess it is in now.

  256. Kwesi Prescod did you get the impression that I thought the PS should not have approved it?
    I made a point of suggesting that the PS appeared compromised and pliant. That’s because she has authority based on the public service act. But instead of using it, she appears to be taking orders from an advisor.
    So if you saw anyway that suggested she ought to be subservient, I will change it immediately!

  257. So much I would love to say right now lasana! But it’s in the hands of our lawyers. Clearly, it would appear the PS didn’t know about a lot of ‘policies’ put in place. As for the liar bit, I’d let Concacaf and CS vise speak to that …. great article

  258. I think the biggest issue I have in this entire thing is the Permanent Secretary. She is protected by our public service regulations and yet allows herself to be directed by a Minister’s advisor?
    It is precisely public servants with that kind of weak thinking that put the country into the mess it is in now.

  259. points to note Lasana….I think the PS can approve the expenditure under $500K without the Minister’s countersigning. So if the Ministry’s public service did an assessment, and she signed on that basis, then there is nothing wrong procedurally with the PS proceeding as she did initially.

    Harrisson, as the adviser to the Minister, has no locus stand to instruct a PS as is the claim. The PS is a public servant, an accounting officer under the Exchequer and Audit Act. the adviser is…in law…a nobody. So I find it amazing that the PS is presented as taking instructions from a nobody. It’s funny thatHarrisson refers to a process established since Lifesport, which itself seems to ignore the law Harrison’s lack of relevance.

    Even the Minister cannot overturn this, procedurally based on the quantum discussed, if the Ministry’s public servants did their due diligence.

  260. This would seem simple to the simpleton they want to invest so why not? it goes deeper than that the regional cooperation cannot allow investment from cooperate Trinidad when it comes to a recreation ground, the laws does not allow for it. We see it as not being difficult as they allow grounds to go un-cared for and we know that if we are allowed to do the work it would be up kept. The Ministry and the regional cooperation’s know this but choose not to say this as it would, well, “not sound good” year after year sporting facilities are left unattended no up keep nothing. I suggested to a sports minister once maybe, just maybe, for the league to go forward parliament should assign grounds to the top flight teams and allow them to develop and maintain in a specific way, any failure to meet these requirements will result in them loosing the rights, just something i suggested. Hey where is West Ham going? new stadium. We do not need twenty five thousand seated stadiums for our local game maybe three to four thousand capacity will do just fine maybe things will change soon.

  261. Hannibal Najjar

    Too much in this and much more that is not, for me to decipher clearly and make any worthwhile comments. I am too tired of the lifestyle of slips and slides, “dances with the wolves”, swims with the sharks, and other suave, bordering on, subpoena-taunting, intrigues. And, for me, that is why it would be the preference that each person should always seek to tell the truth so that one does not have to remember anything. Stronger than this, should be one’s determination to always try and remain faithful especially when no one is looking. I ask, do the stakeholders involved in this trilogy of events and escapades care to live or operate by these “straightening” principles? No accusations, just questions and reminders.

  262. I stay far away from local football ever since November 1989 but I feel I have to say that Shabazz’s comments are right on the ball. It seems to me that people in the Ministry have forgotten that their mandate is to serve the footballing people.
    And I want to say too that we should all insist on an answer to Lasana’s two questions copied hereunder:
    Had Harrison overstepped his boundaries by instructing the PS to withdraw the cheque for Ma Pau?

    And had Macintyre erred by taking instructions from Harrison rather than the Pro League Chairman or CEO?
    And add a third: Should the PS take instructions from anyone but the Minister?
    One has to hope, however, that we as a country are lucky and that the new reforms that have been promised after today will make all the questions not unimportant but less urgent…

    • Lasana Liburd

      Well, the PS can spend a certain amount without need for approval from the Minister. So for the PS in this case to apparently concede her legal rights is scary.
      But then that might be how the country got into this position.

  263. Seems like Sancho/Harrison stepping away from Central F.C. never really occurred when they assumed Ministry of Sport positions. Furthermore, is there anyway to get official Central F.C. position on Ma Pau application, or on evidence that Sancho/Harrison continued to send emails corresponding on official club business??

  264. I am so angry after reading this article. The pettiness which keeps us enslaved and shackled is oblivious to most. The small mindedness and Illiteracy transcends into important areas of development from which our youth should be benefiting. There are a few people out there who are managers and could deal with the trappings of office, power and responsibility. Our institutions are failing because there are no clear policies on the rules of engagement. I am yet to understand Mr. Harrison’s verve for trying to derail an on going process which seemed legit. We also seem to take the strength of others and turn it into subjective fodder, with which we easily poison the minds of others. . Shabazz seems to be the only one who sees the benefit of having a strong rival in Mr. Fenwick, and the benefits Fenwick’s presence and team will bring to the league. I am also angry with the league’s President who in my opinion is not pro-active and seems to flow with the tide. The whole league benefits Mr. president, get up from off your hands and speak out.

  265. Wth…we have a mini FIFA here….aka “TIFA”. Four more hours to elections, this madness MUST stop.

  266. Lord…..I’m afraid to read this. Jeez

  267. Scotty Ranking

    Wow! It seems that certain officials are determined that they must use their office to exact vengeance upon enemies real and perceived. And the MP is right, the Morvant community and Caledonia AIA in part will be the biggest losers as the recreation ground falls further and further into disarray. Heaven forbid if the PP wins and decides to retain Sancho as Sports Minister: you might quicker see a tumble-weed rolling across that ground before you see any refurbishing at all.