The Pro League board yesterday made its final decision on the Ma Pau Sports Club’s application to join the domestic top flight. And the verdict is the prospective Pro League outfit was unable to convince the board members within an appropriate timeline.
So, Ma Pau will not be involved in the 2015/16 Digicel Pro League season.
“The Pro League discussed the application and decided not to consider them for 2015/16,” Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene told Wired868. “They are free to re-apply next year like any other club… (The problem) was the timeline basically.”
The Pro League season starts today with the Digicel Charity Shield, which will be contested by defending league champion club Central FC and DIRECTV W Connection from 7 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
The clubs who will compete in the Pro League this season are: Central FC, W Connection, Defence Force, North East Stars, Police FC, San Juan Jabloteh, Point Fortin Civic, Morvant Caledonia United, St Ann’s Rangers and Club Sando.
Whether or not Ma Pau still wants to compete in the Pro League is another story as the club issued a press release on Wednesday that expressed its dissatisfaction with the application process and its split from coach Terry Fenwick, who was involved in its push to return to the football league.
Ma Pau’s request for funding from the Ministry of Sport led to a clash between former Advisor to the Minister of Sport, Kevin Harrison, and Fenwick while the wanna-be Pro League club also claimed a fraudulent application was made, on its behalf, for $150,000 for youth development.
“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,” stated the Ma Pau release issued by manager Sherry Persad. “… Ma Pau wishes to place on record that Mr Terry Fenwick is not now nor has been the Coach of Ma Pau SC.
“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 Ma Pau release erroneously stated that the club was rejected by the Pro League almost two weeks ago. And, under that assumption, the Ministry of Sport’s Permanent Secretary Gillian Macintyre withdrew State support for the club’s Pro League bid.
In fact, the Pro League only gave its final verdict on Ma Pau’s application yesterday.
Full Ma Pau press release:
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 SC. 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 FC (sic) 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.