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“Swords are drawn and the venom is clear!” Shabazz talks women’s football and Pro League/Super League debate

“For me, it is always about finding a way for our people to work together and not be so divisive. Football has become like the streets: swords are drawn and the only thing that has not happened is bloodshed because the venom is so clear and you can see people drawing lines of division between the Pro League and Super League.

“[…] So who is a Lasana Liburd to decide we should just pack it up?”

Wired868 talks to Jamaal Shabazz—a Women’s National Senior Team, Under-20 Team and Under-17 coach as well as co-founder and technical director of Pro League club Morvant Caledonia United—in the second and final part of our wide-ranging interview on local football in general and the women’s game in particular:

Photo: Caledonia AIA coach Jamaal Shabazz tries to inspire his charges against Toluca during the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League defeat in Mexico City.
(Courtesy Francisco Estrada/JAM Media)

Wired868: What do you see as the positives and negatives for Trinidad and Tobago from the recent CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship?

Jamaal Shabazz: I think the negative is that, had we been exposed to [practice] matches, especially at home, it would have prepared the team better—had we had the resources to have these matches.

I think the positive is that, out of this, the players recognise more as individuals what they bring to the table. I think the awareness of the [women’s] game is heightened throughout the country. Some of the rhetoric I used before the tournament about the squad made up of Sat Maharaj children, Sabga children, that type of rhetoric was a marketing strategy and I think it helped heighten the interest.

I think being able to keep touch with where the game is… I think we showed that we can compete. Now we have got to put more special emphasis on getting the intellect into the squad with regards to fitness training in the modern way, where a football trainer uses football training and not just exercise science.

We talked to the TTFA about bringing in somebody and I spoke to [former USA women’s coach] April Hendricks and she is willing to expose us to that. All the teams are using this method and not the old method of getting in twos and running. This is where we want to go.

While we are disappointed that we didn’t do better, I think you can see some water in the glass.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Kedie Johnson (far right) celebrates her goal against Haiti with teammates (from left to right) Ranae Ward, Dennecia Prince and Shenieka Paul during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 18 January 2018.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Wired868: We led in every match. What do you attribute our fast starts to?

Shabazz: I think we surprised our opponents with our speed off the mark and with balls played over the top. It is something we deliberately worked on—and the dead ball situations.

We saw success in the amount of times that [Dennecia] Prince and them were able to get behind the [opposing] defence but the support [from their teammates] was not there. We scored two goals from corners, which was what [assistant coach] Marlon Charles worked on.

Wired868: Did we make adjustments tactically once ahead or did we try to stay on the front foot?

Shabazz: Recognising that we wouldn’t be able to hold them out, we tried to get [our team] to be more compact and that was a big problem after 30 minutes to get our defence to come out and [push] up. So what started to happen was a big gap between the people up top and the back four, with the midfield having to cover that [space] and being put under more pressure.

[Ranae] Ward and Shenieka Paul and Kedie Johnson were reasonably fit—not all of our players were unfit. We had some players who took the training more seriously so to speak but a lot of pressure was placed on them [in the tournament]. When your forwards are not coming back in time and your defence is not coming to join, your midfield will be really, really overworked.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Shenieka Paul (centre) pressures Canada midfielder Sarah Stratigakis (right foreground) during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action against Trinidad and Tobago at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 20 January 2018.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

There was another factor we have got to consider when we are hosting tournaments and that is becoming accustomed to playing at home. Because the burden is psychological—the players all felt stressed. They all felt like they had people to please and, talking to them before the Costa Rica game, it came out that stress also took energy from them.

I watched every game in the tournament and I felt that, had we been a fitter team, we could have made the final four.

Wired868: We must have had some sort of plan to get them fit. What went wrong?

Shabazz: Well, we used football training as the fitness training. But I think what went wrong was [only] some girls produced the [necessary] level of intensity in training—because when you use small-sided games, there is this ability for some people to hide. [But] we continued with it because of the time.

I take responsibility for that because I wanted to use football training as the basis to develop the fitness. In doing so, the conventional running and other methods were bypassed and clearly you can see we came up short in that regard.

Photo: Haiti captain and forward Nerilia Mondésir (right) sprints to the ball while Trinidad and Tobago captain and defender Natisha John tries to keep up during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 18 January 2018.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Wired868: Up next is the Cyprus Cup. Has your coaching of all three women’s teams impacted on their preparations?

(Editor’s Note: Citing financial reasons, a week after the interview, Trinidad and Tobago pulled out of the Cyprus Cup).

Shabazz: [TTFA technical director] Anton Corneal is more taking the lead role with the senior team from a coaching standing point. He has been with the seniors more than myself [due to my working with the youth teams and] I more or less take an assistant role to him in this team given how it has evolved.

I think that it is a matter still of using tournaments like those to help build the thing and help expose players. We have brought about seven of the U-20 players to join the senior squad. Really and truly, we only have about 10 senior players in the country [and] the rest of them are foreign-based. But Anton will take the lead role for that tournament and I will assist him.

Wired868: And do we have any practice games before that tournament?

Shabazz: The seniors have a year-round programme because they have contracted players.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Ahkeela Mollon (left) holds off Mexico’s Valeria Miranda in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

Wired868: So that did not stop when [former head coach] Carolina Morace left?

Shabazz: It stopped for a few weeks but it continued under us. They train four days a week [and] they are doing strength training in the gym now. Again, more football-specific methods are being used in their preparation but, because of the smaller numbers, it is easier to monitor who is doing what.

I think it is also an important time to integrate younger players into the squad and build a squad for the future.

Going forward with the seniors, nothing is cast in stone. Maybe Anton will stay with them or maybe we will bring in a coach from among the names you discussed [like Richard Hood and Angus Eve]. But for now, both himself and myself are here holding it and trying to plot a pathway forward.

For me, it is never about exclusion. (He gives examples of his support for outspoken coaches like Terry Fenwick and Angus Eve when, according to Shabazz, they supposedly were not in favour at Pro League or TTFA level).

For me, it is always about finding a way for our people to work together and not be so divisive. Football has become like the streets: swords are drawn and the only thing that has not happened is bloodshed because the venom is so clear and you can see people drawing lines of division between the Pro League and Super League.

How does that affect sponsorship and fans looking on and even the players when you have to defend why there is a Pro League? You don’t get that kind of public spat in other professions. I think we need to create an avenue to deal with our difference of opinion in a more productive manner.

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)

Wired868: With Pro League salaries as low as TT$3,000 a month and players not even receiving that at times, how can we justify continuing to operate in this manner when the clubs cannot keep their promises to the players?

Shabazz: Well I think what happened last year has happened for the first time. All the other years, the clubs kept their commitment to the players. What happened last season is, after three or four months into the year, the TT$50,000 that we’re depending on in a budget of TT$120,00 or TT$150,000 was out and you’re forced to improvise. So it is the first year [that happened] and I’ve heard from players who played [abroad] and were not paid too. Aubrey David was playing in Kazakhstan and was not paid for some months.

People have financial troubles. The challenge is for Pro League clubs to find a pathway forward to meet their bills and we are up for it. Some of us have said we are going to take on the challenge.

So who is a Lasana Liburd to decide we should just pack it up? We have made our investment and we are entitled to try and to dialogue with our players and our stakeholders and find a way forward instead of just throwing in the towel and saying the thing dead.

There is a social implication to the thing too. People only like to talk social thing when a gun is to their head. When Nikki Crosby was accosted, none of my players from the Beetham was there pelting bricks. None of the players from Beetham who play for Rangers or Jabloteh or any of those teams were there.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) and Minister of Public Utilities Fitzgerald Hinds (second from right) meet players from Morvant Caledonia United before kick-off against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground on 20 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

So that is a positive from a social side. There are people like Angus Eve and Derek King and so on who made their living from playing in the local leagues.

Wired868: But in the Super League, coaches like Ron La Forest are paid and some players get stipends. So if the Pro League folds, it doesn’t mean nobody will be able to earn a living from football. Won’t it just mean clubs will be able to be more honest with players about what they can and can’t do?

Shabazz: Yeah but who give you guys that right…?

Wired868: (Interrupts) To voice an opinion?

Shabazz: No, no, no, no, no, [the right] to suggest that we should just pack it up without a fight. I think we have earned the right—based on what we have put in collectively over the years—to try to find a way to make this work. And anybody who wants to deny me that right, I have to look at them and say ‘Wow!’

I can understand if people say ‘Why don’t you try this or try that?’ But I find a lot of the comments are just spurious remarks… It is a whole bunch of sour grapes. On two occasions, [T&T Super League president and FC Santa Rosa owner] Keith Look Loy tried to get into the Pro League. I think people want to play at the highest level but they don’t want to put out the cost.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa coach Keith Look Loy reacts to action during his team’s 1-0 win over Marabella Family Crisis Centre in 2015/16 CNG National Super League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868

I have always advocated that they find a way to bring in teams with less [resources] by letting them pay in instalments, right, but we all paid. Caledonia found TT$100,000 [to join the Pro League]. You know what is TT$100,000 in the hood?! (Laughs) And we paid that to join the League and we survived.

(Editor’s Note: The franchise fee to join the Pro League is now TT$450,000).

Wired868: So you believe the Pro League is still financially viable and makes commercial sense?

Shabazz: I think until the owners decide—when we look at every angle—that it is not possible. Look, we spoke in the last [Pro League] meeting about rebranding the name [of the League], about playing [all our games] in two venues. We are talking to television. Those are three big steps that we intend to talk about more. So we are looking for a way.

So away with those who feel we should just lie down and dead; my life has never been about lying down to dead.

Wired868: The Pro League made decisions to salvage its future before, like moving to community fields. I was there when Morvant played its first home game with about 2,000 fans. But then suddenly Caledonia were not playing there anymore. Can you understand why people, looking from the outside, would wonder if the Pro League is really serious about change?

Photo: Spectators at the Morvant Recreation Ground look on as Morvant Caledonia United host San Juan Jabloteh in Pro League action at the Morvant Recreation Ground on 16 October 2016.
Jabloteh won 4-2.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Shabazz: Well, there is a reason for that. The League is not in charge of the fields in the communities, it is the politicians who are in charge of those fields. But you see in Morvant, there will be a difference. You will see! (Laughs) We will take the field. We are going to make it happen.

But the Pro League doesn’t own the fields and, whereas the Super League is content to play on fields that are not the best, credit to them. I have no problem with that. I am not going to bad-talk the Super League to advance the cause of the Pro League. That’s what I am talking about.

Why would somebody want to bad-talk the Pro League to help the Super League? The truth doesn’t need nothing to stand on, the truth does stand by itself. You know why they call it the naked truth?

Wired868: Tell me…

Shabazz: Truth was a man used to real dress up and he and Lie went to the sea to bathe; but Lie had old clothes. And Truth went out far and showing off on Lie. And Lie ran out the ocean and thief Truth’s clothes and gone. And when Truth come out and realise that Lie gone with his clothes, he said, as a form of protest, ‘I’m going naked!’ And that is how they come to talk about the naked Truth. (Laughs)

If your product good in the Super League, why you have to bad-talk the Pro League to advance your product? That come like coaches who bad-talk other coaches to advance their career; that’s not making sense.

Photo: Morvant Caledonia United co-founder and head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and then assistant coach Rajesh Latchoo enjoy a good day at the office during the 2013/14 Pro League season.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The Super League has problems of their own and the Pro League coaches don’t get involved in that because we take a position that let we support them fellahs.

(He spoke at length about Pro League clubs loaning their players to Super League teams for them to ‘cut their teeth’).

The two products can survive and right now the owners are saying we will find a way to survive. Look at what we do [so far]. It is not Government funding alone carry this thing, Lasana. Government funding came in about six or seven years ago. We used to carry it and we will carry it.

Wired868: You said you wanted to raise other issues outside of women’s football…

Shabazz: For me, the divisiveness in the football was the main thing I wanted to raise—and not just in the Pro League and Super League. I think in the present economic climate we have got to get creative but there are still companies who are making profit and the business community should not turn their backs on football.

For me and Caledonia, the social side of the thing has always been a key factor. I lose some men to the gang violence but we win some battles too and we were able to see some men become something. For me, outside of the financial and economic side, there is a social responsibility that leagues like the Pro League and the Super League help with and I will encourage the business community to support teams from both leagues. There are things I can say about those brothers and them [in the Super League] but I don’t want to be like them.

Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers then Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a helping hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Wired868: You think criticism of the Women’s Under-20 team and the national teams in general is unfair considering that Trinidad and Tobago has had a particular level within the Caribbean and even within CONCACAF?

Shabazz: I think fans have to be fans; people are entitled to criticise. [National Senior Team coach] Dennis Lawrence said something some time ago that is instructive. He said if your work has some direction and you strong enough to deal with the criticism, then that is what is important.

What is necessary, though, is the collective effort from the leadership. We have seen in football where one man and his dog took us to somewhere and how it was able to degenerate because of the lack of collective spirit and participation from more stakeholders. I think we need to strive to see more participation, even at the board level in the TTFA. Instead of people being a leak for Wired868 and trying to make a bacchanal, let your presence be felt in the board meeting and fight for your point like how we do in the Pro League.

(Editor’s Note: A detailed list of probing questions from Look Loy to TTFA president David John-Williams, general secretary Justin Latapy-George, referee’s department head Wayne Caesar and Technical Committee members Anton Corneal and Muhammad Isa was published in Wired868 last month. The questions were not answered by any of the recipients).

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) addresses Caribbean Football Union delegates during his CPFL meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Port of Spain on 17 and 18 June 2016.
Then Guyana National Senior Team coach Jamaal Shabazz is at his side in full TTFA gear.

Wired868: You know, what one person calls transparency, somebody else calls a leak, snitching or bacchanal. [Former US president Richard] Nixon probably thought the same thing…

Shabazz: Well, again, it is what generates interest. But for me, I think the issues in football that divide us publicly a lot of times could be dealt with and addressed—even with your presence—with dialogue. What we want to bring to the public is not an industry that is embattled [but] people working together, facing challenges, having diverse opinions but trying to find a pathway forward. That might be wishful thinking but under the dictatorship it had that!

It had Wired under the dictatorship? How men suddenly get voice? (Laughs).

Wired868: You are not seriously questioning what I was doing while Jack Warner was there?

Shabazz: No, I don’t have to ask you. I had to call and ask you to temper down many times. For me, I will find a way to work with Pharaoh and I am not Moses. The time will come when you have to come against Pharaoh and I accept that. I know what it is to pick up the thing and fight. And I know when the time comes, you have to do what is necessary. But I also know the importance of dialogue and the collective approach.

When I see Derek and Angus and so on have to come out to defend having a Pro League, I mean, wow! Suppose the three ideas that [we are discussing] like rebranding the league, playing in two venues so your fixtures are credible and the TV thing, suppose that works? What would those people come and say after?

Photo: North East Stars captain Elton John (left) scores a penalty kick during Pro League action at the Arima Velodrome on 28 July 2017.
North East Stars won 3-2.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Wired868: Congrats?

Shabazz: Well, some people. Not some of the haters you’re starting to develop.

Wired868: (Laughs) I’m developing haters?

Shabazz: There are some men like Nigel something. Nigel Scott. Sometimes I want to get in a discussion but, when I start, everybody just backs off. To me, if there is a meaningful dialogue you can benefit.

I’ve seen [former stand-out national goalkeeper and San Juan Jabloteh coach] Earl Carter comment and he should come out more. There are times I want to take on Earl. You see, men who went to live in America, they feel they have all the answers. But when Earl come and coach at Jabloteh, what happened? What happened?

You could only catch the ball if you are on the field, you know. The experience I gained from running a club is invaluable.

Wired868: You spoke earlier about the developmental programme you helped put in place before. Are you confident that we are locating the talented players from every nook and cranny?

Shabazz: I can talk about the women and I think we have a nice pool from all over the country. Right now, we have at least nine players from Tobago; Tobago generally have the best athletes but they are not always as technical.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Under-15 Team warm down after their 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic on 10 August 2016 in the CONCACAF Championships.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

But if I had the last word, I would not enter that team in the CONCACAF Under-15 tournament this year and here’s why. Based on our [ranking], they will put us in a group with the big dogs and I cannot see that Under-14 team being ready to play the big dogs in July.

So if we know that and we know we don’t have a chance, let us continue to develop and let us go to the US and play opponents who are still a little better than them but (who will be) giving them a chance to be able to play. Those are some of the harsh decisions that we have to make in the football. Don’t go and demoralise the girls.

[…] If you lose 5-0, okay. All over the world, sometimes a team has a bad day and they get five or six goals. But when you start to get double figures, I think the administrators need to take stock and say maybe competition is something this group is not ready for.

Wired868: So how long do you think we should wait before we enter these girls in competition? An extra year?

Shabazz: Anton Corneal, may Allah bless his soul, has advocated that in April we should bring some Caribbean teams for us to play. To me, how we do there is the kind of indication [we need]. But right now, I think the staff collectively have enough knowledge about what obtains with the four or five top teams in CONCACAF to say if they use that same ranking system, we’re not ready.

If we are going to play our Caribbean peers, then fine. But if we go and play USA, Canada or Mexico…

Photo: TTFA technical director Anton Corneal.

Wired868: And what is our approach for the Women’s National Senior Team and their France 2019 World Cup campaign, which starts in May?

Shabazz: Well, as I said, Anton Corneal is the one taking the leading role. But, for me, I say let’s take this opportunity to build for the future.

We have Maylee Attin-Johnson who’s looking to start to coach and is not sure of her knees. We have Tasha St Louis, who is a key player on the squad but is 33 or 34. We have Dernelle Mascall, who is starting to coach and she’s pregnant. Ayanna Russell is starting to coach, Ahkeela Mollon is falling in love now with coaching more than playing.

[…] To me, the pool is not as flattering as we think. We are going on past understanding of those players. But if Karyn Forbes gets an injury and Janine Francois gets an injury, the team will look worrisome.

I think realistically we have to say let’s integrate U-20’s into this team; expose them at CONCACAF level and give our best. The final decision will be Anton Corneal’s but for sure I will fight for that to happen because I didn’t come in the women’s game yesterday.

I know when it is time to bring in players like Dennecia Prince, Kedie Johnson, Laurelle Theodore, Natisha John, K’lil Keshwar, Alexis Fortune and Amaya Ellis and integrate them with the seniors and get caps for them.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players Kennya Cordner (right) and Anique Walker head for the dressing room after their 1-0 FIFA 2015 Women’s Cup Play-off second leg defeat to Ecuador on 2 December 2014 in Port-of-Spain.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Wired868: Anything you want to say in summary?

Shabazz: Again, there are those who feel—and this is talking from a Pro League standpoint—that, to advance their cause, they must see the closure of the Pro League. I am saying as one of the owners of a club in the Pro League that we will try to find a way.

If it means retracing our steps, rebranding, trying new things, then we are open to that. But we are not going to lie down until we are dead.

Editors Note: Click HERE for Part One of our interview with Jamaal Shabazz as he discusses the Women’s U-20 Championship, the development of the local women’s game, his relationship with assistant coach Marlon Charles and his vision as head coach.

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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115 comments

  1. 4 – 5 years ago, myself Leslie Fitzpatrick, Chris Tanner of an Australian company offered the league a plan that did not require scrapping the Ttpro League. It was refused. We even pointed a way to get the initial cost of $10K – 20K US paid through the Min of Sport. This was the only cost, as we would be paid by a % of the value that is the standard for the industry, 18%. The league after that initial payment, did not need to pay us again. We would earn or wages.

  2. Obama’s official portrait for the Smithsonian. Earl’s spidey sense was probably tingling over in another thread though, lol

  3. Jamaal, I’ve noticed that you keep reiterating that the Pro League’s owners have the right to accept or reject any presentation. Fair enough. In so doing, it means that you all will have to accept the lion’s share of the blame for the Pro League being in it’s current state. It seems that all of a sudden you guys are open to ideas and opinions. Why now? Didn’t you all see the writing on the wall 10 years ago, 15 years ago? It all seems so reactionary. But I guess better late than never.

    Another thing you keep mentioning is the socioeconomic benefit of football, but more the socio side. I happen to agree with you, but if that is the main thrust of the league, then it’s bound to fail as a business. Or maybe just don’t bother calling it a Pro League, or try deriving the befits from the zonal and minor leagues. Or just let de Government run it as ah social programme.

    I’ve been religiously following the league since inception and I don’t even know what is the official mandate of the Pro League. What is or was the plan? Is that something you can provide? Every year the league is getting better, but for the last x-amount of years we have teams opting out because of financial issues. We all wants fans in the seats, but I can’t remember the last time we had a fixture list that wasn’t constantly changing, sometimes at the last minute where only the teams would be aware of what’s going on. Sometimes you don’t even know which clubs in the league. I doh even know how game attendance is not at de forefront of the issues. Dat is mandatory! De TTFA does suffer from de same ting. Just figuring that just by playing de game, people go show up.

    Do I want to see the Pro League fail? NO WAY! And when I say Pro League I am not specifically referring to the entity known as the T&T Pro League. I’m referring to truly professional football in Trinidad and Tobago. The whole thing needs to be scrapped, rethought, and rebranded, because what going on eh wukkin. It CANNOT be sustainable without it being thought of as a business (as a product) and fans (and other businesses) as your customers, and if it’s thought of as a business then you need capable businessmen in key positions.

    I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m not saying I have de solution(s), hell I don’t even know the background of the main issues that affect the league. However, I do know dat if allyuh keep burying allyuh head in de sand, you might as well call it de CEPEP Pro League.

    While we at it, why is Skeene still dey? Is it dat nobody else want de wuk? Is he taking a leaf out of Oliver Camps’ book? He needs to be commended for sticking around, but oh gorm man, allyuh eh want new ideas, new approaches, new guidance?

    • Is either it’s being run as a business, or it’s a charity. It can’t be both.

    • Like yuh had some free time this afternoon boy lol

    • Tallman, yuh have belly like a cyalabash! Like yuh expect different answers awah?

    • Everyone needs to be honest as to what is a Pro League…even with subventions, sponsorship and inconsistent gate receipts…we barely touching the finance/marketing for a proper Pro League. The history is proving we can’t artificially create it and skip the foundational Club/Community relationship. A new culture change needs to be started using a few from TTPL & TTSL

    • Nigel, exactly! And daiz where some people getting tie up. Feliziano, is long time I have plenty to say, and ah wasn’t galavanting today. Junior, ah have more guts dan ah crapo. LOL.

    • From the time you ask questions you are seen as anti-establishment. How can anything be righted without asking tough questions? Tough questions inspire self search and research, which then inspires growth. What had happened with the TPL is, it allowed itself to become comfortable, hence the reason now anyone asking tough questions are seen as attackers of the establishment

    • Thats being cynical Junior …we reasoning. I cannot say at any time pro league owners or the league as an entity was not open to listening. Yet all the ideas coming seem to be scrap the league. And I agree it is a collective responsibility for the ills of the league. But for all the negatives pointed out the league has played a vital role in providing employment…outside of govt help. We have provided avenues for coaches and staff to work day in day out. You can sit there and point out all that has not been done or needs to be done….that’s but some a molecule a speck of good has been done and none of you cam deny that. We will find a pathway forward inshallah…..I am not here to hide the deficiencies of the league. And you can ridicule the social aspect the league plays and laugh at the fact that a real business does not cater for social needs. But those players coaches etc who has benefitted from its existence knows its importance. Again as a club owner I know we open to ideas but dont for one minute think we going to lie down and die without trying to come up with a pathway forward.

    • For football across the board in Trinidad to get better, their must be an open (oblective) and sincere sit down with all stakeholders. None must feel left own, challenges must be figured out, solutions identified, and all hands on deck. Can’t continue to operate in stealth mode, so when we train start to go off track all show be pulling in the same direction to keep it on track. We must not see questioning and critism as bad things. These should be fuel to keep the fire burning, but not to bun down de house.

    • who is afraid of questioning and criticism Junior?

    • If you referring to me you wrong…if you referring to others …they can answer for themselves

    • The same right you guys have to place your viewpoints for or against the League or things that you see should go differently ….the same right I have to respond. I not thin skinned about your views but when I respond there seems to be a problem. Nah the forum is open to differing views…..other owners choose to be silent…..

    • We don’t always have to listen to respond. If we do so, many times the communication comes across as defensive or confrontational. We’ve been hearing your perspective for a number of years, and, from all indication, it has been consistent. However, without the perspective of the other major players in the TPL we cannot get a true picture of the real state of affairs, thus it seems people antagonizing you. People want to help the patient (TPL) who seems to be on life support now. But, real help can’t come if nobody knows what internal ailments are.

  4. It’s refreshing and encouraging to read those words.

  5. Every year the Clubs are expected to pay a registration fee which covers admin and operational costs.
    Caledonia’s first entry into the first version of the TTPFL was not based on buisness. It was an ambitious football club wanting to play at the highest level of the game in the country. Over the last number of years we have been in transition to operate more as a buisness. It continues to be a difficult trod for us ….more guided by trust in Allah and resilience than buisness acumen. And a host of persons too numerous to mention who see the need for us not only to survive but to make that transition into a viable business entity.

  6. Based on your commitment to employment opportunities for the youth and the social benefit, I thought you would 3B. I will look for the link to the English FA which details even more structures and send to you.

  7. You are welcome. If the teams own the league, other than the first investment do the teams continue to finance the league? Is the 450,000 franchise fee an annual contribution? I guess I am trying to understand how the company(league) owned by the teams make money. The MLS teams do not all make money in the single entity system but since MLS owns SUM they get tremendous revenue since SUM controls broadcasting rights for US Soccer, international club friendlies, etc

  8. I like the concept of 3. B that is more in keeping with the original goals of Caledonia

  9. And Mr Powder I am going to copy what you have outlined. For sure we getting somewhere. Thanks for this.

  10. The League is a company formed by the clubs. Each club has a Rep on the Board with an Independent Chairman and a hired CEO. However the league does not operate as a single entity ownership with regards to club ownership. So the clubs own the league but owners own their individual clubs except police and army. It is really who have more corn feeds more fowls

  11. Mr. Shabazz, first let me thank you for being willing and able to engage in this manner with members of the football fraternity. Regarding your single entity question, I was advised that the Pro League does or did follow a single entity model at its inception. Your question suggests that I was wrongly informed by the league. Maybe you can help me with the current ownership structure of PL teams. I think if this was better understood, investors maybe willing to consider.

    Football clubs can take one of several different legal forms:

    1. Unincorporated Associations

    Some football clubs are unincorporated associations, sometimes called private member’s clubs. They are a group of individuals who are bound together by the constitution or rules of the club. This means that the club is not a legal person in its own right, and so any contract of the club must be entered into by someone on behalf of the club. Normally, a club has a committee to run the club and it will be a member or members of the committee which will enter into contracts and hold land on behalf of the club.

    2. Companies Limited by Guarantee

    A company limited by guarantee is a company owned by its members but, unlike an unincorporated association, has a separate legal identity. Each member guarantees to pay a small amount if the club becomes insolvent e.g. $1. The structure is very flexible and common among not-for-profit organisations such as clubs or charities where membership is frequently changing. The club’s constitution will be st out in the articles of association of the new company. Often, the members elect the directors, who will be re-elected in accordance with the company’s articles. The directors are responsible for the running the club. A company limited by guarantee has no shares and will not pay any dividends to its members. As such it is not suitable for clubs seeking to turn-over a profit for its members.

    3. Companies Limited by Shares

    A company limited by shares is the same as a company limited by guarantee except that it is owned by the shareholders who elect the directors. Companies limited by shares are not normally used for clubs that operate membership schemes because each time a member leaves their share has to be transferred to somebody else or redeemed. A company limited by shares maybe suitable for clubs which owners or investors who wish to invest in the club and want to operate as a profit making operation as they can benefit from payment of dividends and an increase in the value of their shares which can be sold.

    3.B Community Interest Company

    A community interest Company is a special type of company. It has a separate legal identity ans o, as with a company limited by guarantee, the members are protected from liabilities. Only companies can apply for Community Interest status, i.e this is not available to unincorporated associations. Community Interest Companies are incorporated in the same way as normal companies but must demonstrate they are acting for the benefit of the community. Many amateur football clubs would be able to meet this test. The constitutions of Community Interest Companies must comply with certain rules which restrict he way in which assets can be used. They have no special tax advantages.

    What are the current legal structures of the Pro League Clubs?

  12. Jamaal, I still believe you in way over your head both on and off the field. However, I appreciate and respect the fact that you’re responding and not hiding.

  13. Let me throw out some stuff…what are your views on a single entity ownership approach like the MLS or semi single entity ownership.
    What are your views while trying to acquire community fields to play at two designated venues and play the Knock out in communities like Point Fortin…Arima…and Morvant…given time to bring them up to a level.

  14. Everyone has a position but maybe we have a common interest in wanting to see league football grow in the national interest. Then if we have a common interest the fans…the critics…the butcher…baker…candlestick maker….dont forget the investors. Cause you people forgeting that Owners have done what you in the most part has not done….which is put their money in….
    Then what are the next steps ? We as a league are re evaluating in order to become a more viable entity. If you have the intellect or a viewpoint feel free to share it. If a player kicks a ball over bar and the fans say he kick it overbar thats fine. But a coach would say get over it next time ..among some other technical correcting points. If people talking as fans fine…if you bringing a higher intellectual viewpoint…it is welcomed.

  15. Come with it I want all the raging bulls one time today traditionally is ole mas. Lets go Scipio

  16. And Scipio you carrying a crutch over some presentation made sometime ago that apparently was not accepted. Nobody says we love where the league is at now but again we as investors hold the right to accept or reject any presentation. And ironically I was not around at Mr Tanner”s presentation.

  17. Thats what I talking about Siewdath at least Come with a pathway forward not just some pie in the sky PR comment. Bring these visionaries that you have

  18. So in summary Jamaal has unwittingly confessed that TT women’s football program has gone backward and is on the cutting edge (no pun intended) of total collapse under the helm of DJW as TTFA president.
    Well, at least save and except for hiring a technical director and coaches as well as paying a handful of senior players a small stipend.
    As for the Pro League, I honestly think the time has come for some more visionary investors to seriously explore the introduction of an internationally marketed franchised Caribbean league similar to the CPL but with perhaps 10 or 12 initial franchises.
    That, I believe, will result in consolidation of the domestic Pro League and Super Leagues into an agreeable two-tiered competition, whereby the top two teams from the second tier will win promotion at the expense of the bottom two from the top tier which will be demoted.

    • Who will now own the teams?

      Investors will want some form of ownership so they can help steer their investment in the right direction.

      Presently the Pro League is run by a body made up of the Club Owners.

      Would they be willing to share, or relinquish ownership and control?

    • One difference is the CPL has some of the best players in the world.
      If you had the likes of even second tier stars like Oscar, Pastore, Rooney, Iniesta, Di Maria and Martial here, a Caribbean football league would do just as well.
      Without drawing cards like that it ent as easy as it looks at all. Especially with the cost of regional travel.

    • Ok Nigel on question one after several attempts from adds to magazines etc…the League has found the biggest and best form of marketing is to get facilities within the communities. Two Govts now have endorsed the idea and made steps to have mini stadia in Grande and San Juan. That was up until Brent Sancho was Sports Minister.
      The community fields are controlled by the Regional Corporations. The red tape has slowed the process

    • 2. 3. and 4. The league owners have been meeting consistently over the last month and we are re examining the entire set up.
      None is averse to ideas and you are welcomed on a Caledonia ticket to meet with us and pitch a projection…..however as owners we have a right since to decide our pathway forward.

    • well Siewdath get your visionary investors nah . I challenge you to get a group of persons who will put back some of that money …..taken…into sports much less into a league that will employ young people

  19. Shabazz was and has always been a failure…so when teams get knocked out…without a point…theircoaches resign immediately…its high time to get rid of Shabazz forever …total waste…so are we saying there isnt anyone else to coach the womens team…anyone who saw highlights of that team’s training sessions could have told u that the team was unfit…young University u-20 girls fat, unfit, cant run…when they shouldve been in d peak of their lives…then the coach ability of lack thereoff…failure writen all over…why is Shabazz even allowed around any National Team after what he did…

  20. Jamaal, a couple of questions:

    1. Has it ever been an official priority of the Pro League to attract fans to the games? If so, what kind of sustained efforts have been made over the years to achieve that goal?

    2. Is there an actual functional marketing department? If so, what do they do, and what have they accomplished?

    3. Do clubs have business plans?

    4. Do clubs get involved in their community? Do they market themselves to the community?

  21. The entire cast of owners in the Pro League are open to ideas and opinions but where are they ?

  22. Captain Malik dont get disrespectful …clearly you do not know me…even my most notorious enemies agree I always open and receptive.
    I have never seen you say anything constructive but lets hear it

  23. Nobody is praying for the pro league to close down you self-righteous oaf …. EVERYBODY ….. (arm chair noahs included) ….wants a better way forward ….what the f*** do you think we’re talking about here? Are you so blind and stubborn that you can’t see that? That is the problem with you Shabazz and your people …. you don’t open yourself to alternative options, change or outside opinions you feel you know it all and you’ve seen it all and your defensive outbursts constantly wreak of a man too proud to see things for what they are but only sees it for how you want to view it. If your pro league or national teams are to move forward progressively you best get over yourself …. you claim these “talks” will continue sometime in the future ….make it sooner rather than later ….everybody want to put off for the future because they afraid to live in the now ….

  24. T20 ,mmacheal Monday has more appeal wake up …..there is a generation that don’t care about all what we are saying .Innovation that only comes with a new generation of concepts on what sport really is in this carribbean society

  25. Fair enough I agree Dimanche Gras is on. For the good of the game at some point this must continue whether at leagues level discussion or otherwise.

  26. ..In 2017 TTSL asked MSYA for funding for inter-island travel so we could maintain the national integrity of the Trinidad AND Tobago Super League. Smith never acknowledged the request. He has again not acknowledged our request for 2018 Santa Rosa received some money from MSYA in 2015 along with other National Super League clubs. You refuse to see or hear the point about TTPL’s failed financial “model” and elitist competition model. Enough. Dimache Gras on.

  27. Have Santa Rosa ever benefitted from state funding ?

  28. Did the Super League ever approach the State for funding ?

  29. who talking about state funding. And why you want to gain promotion to a league that you want to close down. I shock that you of all people would like to see data for the social benefits of sport.

  30. ..If TTPL clubs have the independent finance to run their operation and league I would be happy for them and wish them well. Then my issue would be promotion and relegation between TTSL and TTPL. But leave State monies out of club finances. Cut your suit to fit the cloth you have. As for social benefit, I would like to see the cost-benefit analysis..

  31. And while some men spending they carnival praying for the Pro League to close….The owners looking for a way forward and our CEO is holding talks as we speak….so don’t vex if we choose not to lie down and dead. Instead we chose to re examine our approach and try to find a way to survive.

  32. And all who want to deny the social benefits of sport …..again could say that to win an argument on social media. But those who know how sports has played a role in shaping lives will differ.

  33. Caledonia knows how some Super League clubs feel because we were a top semi pro team…that repeatedly beat Joe Public ….yet we were not in the first TT Pro League. We did not have the money to pay to join. The bank draft….but in one year we made the sacrifice so in 2000 we joined. We did not say close the league. We put on our bag pack ….loaded our rifle and went and hunt for the funding

  34. Some of the very naysayers now sat when Jack Warner started the league on a who have more corn feed more fowl basis. If they had cared to tell Pharoah then lets build from the Semi Pro League (SPFL) and find a collective approach similar but not limited to MLS….then maybe today we would have been better off.

  35. To judge the league’s relevance purely on this year’s Caribbean Club Championship….is to say the league was great when we dominated same then ?

  36. Over the years the Pro League has provided players …coaches and administrators…the opportunity to work in football on a full time basis.
    In the last two seasons moreso last season clubs have not been able to meet their financial commitments…and that is some clubs not all.
    Outside of government funding clubs have collectively over the last ten years invested over 100 million TT dollars into the national economy.
    The absence of revenue earning facilities within communities has been a major setback to the league and club’s abilities to sustain themselves.
    Those who have not invested a penny in the league nor a swet are entitled to say shut it down.
    But those who have invested as owners and continue to look for a pathway forward …..cannot be denied that right…..by a few armchair Noahs.
    Those who refuse to light a candle are entitled to wallow in their own.darkness.

  37. And then what? You think these players are the players from the 60s 70s 80s. From my experience the best case scenario would be that the service teams would battle it out for football supremacy as was the case from the 70s till the inception od the pro league. You see the youth needs to be understood, i also manage a steelband and long time players played for the ” love” those days are long gone bro. I agree that most of the pro league teams are poorly run. But there are groups in this country that enjoy billions in state largesse and don’ t hear nobody making noise. The SAME dependency syndrome but with Billions at stake. So those arguments hold no weight with me. I say develop a ground in each community with top of the line artificial turf and give ownership to the teams give them 3 million each and they’re on their own after. I say let the super league teams share pro league grounds and give them 500,000 for 3 yrs same ultimatum and i say do the same for cricket teams, athletic clubs , netball teams , boxing gyms etc give them a boat and a fishing rod. After that, assistance goes only to national teams in each sporting discipline.

    • No proof this would work…but worth a damn good shot once structured correctly with the right qualified personnel. We would be better off had something like this be done [for sport clubs] instead of the billions on Tarouba, Aquatic Center, Cycling Velodrome and Diego Martin Stadium. We could have guaranteed at least 20 years of development!

    • Nothing is guaranteed to work. But you will be investing directly in the different sporting clubs who would have to step up and manage their affairs to survive.

    • Our problem is maintenance those facilities will be run down by next election. Then a contract to refurbish them would be given.

    • Simple! Let Clubs [must be set up as a business] do general maintenance of the facilities in a structured way. Major structural work could be done through Corporations or Min of Sport. But gov’t financiers may not want something so honest and transparent

  38. Travis Mulraine I do not know enough about the business of TnT Football nor Pro League Football to say better or worse due to the absence of data from the Pro League. I have no knowledge of the audited financials of the Pro League which would assist in me making a decision. I am not comfortable with not responding directly to your question but the lack of information limits my ability. However, I will go out on a limb and say yes we are better without the Pro League as I struggle to find a rationale reason for its existence in the current form

  39. The league will improve if you get better people in place to run it and better marketing ….if you do not it will continue to deteriorate ….this is true with the ttfa as well ….but we’ve known this …we always come back full circle to this …..

  40. .. Put it this way. 1. TTSL better run than TTPL and has far more supporters. 2. Guaya, Club Sando and Phoenix beat TTPL opponents in the FA Cup. 3. TTPL stagnation with no relegation allows one club to finish last every year without consequence. You make up your mind..

  41. LoL. That not answering if things would get better or worse.

  42. It’s a matter of restructuring

  43. Well i am asking would it get better or worse with no pro league??? Comments

  44. I wouldn’t scrap the pro league …as imperfect as it is …it is a form of employment for players administrators ….but like any business if you don’t run it better it is going to fold anyway …. look at the successful examples and learn from it it’s been that way from the beginning of time ….

  45. ..The CFU club championship is showing us right now that our “professionals” can’t match “semi-professionals” from other Caribbean countries. So ………

  46. Scrap the pro league and let the chips fall where they may. But can we rely on “working men” in 2018 to produce a national team to compete at international level? Men who have to get time off to go to a game or a trip? I was fortunate to have played thru 3 eras of football in trinidad . Amateur, semi pro and pro and trust me these players nowadays aint going thru dat no money thing even if its the 3000. Look at their lack of ambition and dedication what would happen if the 3000 was removed. You might as well have boat ride tournaments. LoL. We would at least get some foreign base players to come back and play like the big 4 back in the semi pro days lol

  47. I have never met Shabazz nor oberserved his training but I have relied on many of the knowledgeable contributors that have said he is a good coach but today I must disagree with those I trusted before. Shabazz stated that he ran small sided exercises , 5v2 and the like and players hid. These exercises as designed so players can not hide, this suggest to me that Mr. Shabazz does not understand the very exercises he is running. I am soon to be 50 and I am doing beep test and core exercise to evaluate fitness but Shabazz is using what methods. Let’s stop the bull shit, Jamal doh know what he doing, Period!.

    Now let’s stop with this bullshit that football stopping crime and is a social service. Murders up, theft up and government funding still in place. No evidence exists to draw this correlation that football keeping youths off the block, in fact a youth will make more than 3K on the block monthly.

    Shabazz asserts that he had some grand marketing plan with U20s because he intentionally reference rhetoric of Sat Maharaj and Sagba children as a marketing strategy. Where is the data that proved this strategy was effective? Ticket sales, sponsorship, attendance???

    Who would pay 450K to join a bankrupt league where most paid 100k to join? Where is the value, unless I wanted to launder money? Maybe they should drop the entry to 100K so they can get 20 teams in the “Pro League”

  48. Nigel S. Scott and Malik Johnson lets be civil about the thing we dont have to descend into insults. Its about philosophy . I will insist on doing base fitness and strength training work before football specific fitness work another coach may think not. I know a quite succesful coach who had that philosophy that you could get fit with technical drills.

    • I know a lot of coaches who could get players fit in technical drills but he says players were hiding so it meant he recognised it and did not make the adjustment …(or could not) ….. so it’s a philosophy that doesn’t work for him ….I will agree though perhaps the lil insults is reaching but it’s a sense of his statements feel like it’s insulting our intelligence …. almost as though we don’t know what we’re seeing ….we do know and he can’t hide from that …..

    • When you find the part of my comment that is “uncivil” Travis, feel free to point it out to me.

  49. Times are hard and a pay cut should be in order for the ppl running the pro league. Thats a start.

  50. I see more and more excuses and I don’t want to waste time discussing this fool again. When you’re doing core fitness work (beep tests etc) everyone has to do it there is no hiding from that. He’s a dotish, prehistoric dinosaur of an idiot. You have to bring in April Heinrich to teach you how to get a team fit? What d f*** I really reading here meh lawd??

  51. I endorse the past comments by Brent and Keith. And the only thing I would say is I have heard this rhetoric too many ties, it is like a bad political manifesto.

    Let the TT Pro League with its antiquated ideas, owners, and Exexcutive die their own painful death since they continually refuse modern medicine.

    Brent I know and feel your pain.

    As for women Football it is already very recognized, but as women are today very outspoken, they are not excited because they speak among themselves and do not like what they have each found out to be true. So leave they same people in charge and prepare the hole for the burial.

  52. I usually try not to comment on anything Shabazz related, because I find it hard to be impartial when it comes to him. Whatever I have to say usually starts and ends with the word “prison,” and I know many are tired hearing that talk.

  53. Like number five. Hopefully we get a response

  54. ..I have no personal quarrel with Shabazz, nor for that matter with any owner, coach or player in TTPL. But he is delusional:

    1. He thinks the recent U20 tournament shows that “we can compete” when, in fact we were the ONLY team not to get ONE point and finished dead last.

    2. I don”t know if he is fooling some people about the team’s training regimen but even the most backward coaches today (and the most enlightened decades ago when I was playing ) use “football training” to get players fit. More than that, when he says that training lacked intensity because some players could “hide” when he applied small-sided games, I worry because such games are applied SPECIFICALLY to ensure players can’t “hide” due to the small numbers and to ensure high intensity.

    3. F C Santa Rosa applied for entry into TTPL in 2010 (ONCE) as a means of escape from the horrors of Eastern regional football. NEVER SINCE. In 2011 we won promotion to the old Super League. When we won it in 2016 we did not even consider another application.

    4. Since 2016 clubs from the old National Super League have sought dialogue with TTPL to seek a merger of both leagues. When Brent Sancho was Minister of Sport, through his advisor Kevin Harrison, we set up a meeting with TTPL and the good Minister. Or so we thought. Both TTPL and Sancho never came. Since the formation of TTPL I have reached out constantly to TTPL and TTPL owners to meet and discuss collaboration and merger between the league. I have been preaching in the desert.

    5. I am personally tired of TTPL people holding out social work in “depressed” areas as a justification for State largesse to TTPL members. Let me ask: Why should Morvant/Caledonia get State funding and not RSSR or Laventille United or Elements, all from the same area? Why should Northeast Stars get and not FC Santa Rosa which has players from Pinto, Malabar, La Horquetta, Maloney, Calvary, etc? It is cynical and self-serving in the extreme to advance community poverty as the reason why the State should fund some clubs. No. A professional club should have community programmes for the disadvantaged but cannot use that disadvantage as a credit card.

    6. For the purpose of clarity let me close with this:

    I and the TTSL Board are ready to meet whenever and wherever the TTPL decides to discuss collaboration and merger. Let the TTPL respond to this public offer..

    • ..Enough with the smoke screens , half-truths and excuses. I have asked for report on the U20 fiasco to be tabled at my first TTFA Board meeting on 15 February. The TD is supposed to be preparing one..

  55. ..I have no personal quarrel with Shabazz, nor for that matter with any owner, coach or player in TTPL. But he is delusional:

    1. He thinks the recent U20 tournament shows that “we can compete” when, in fact we were the ONLY team not to get ONE point and finished dead last.

    2. I don”t know if he is fooling some people about the team’s training regimen but even the most backward coaches today (and the most enlightened decades ago when I was playing (use “football training” to get players fit. More than that, when he says that training lacked intensity because some players could “hide” when he applied small-sided games, I worry because such games are applied SPECIFICALLY to ensure players can’t “hide” due to the small numbers and to ensure intensity.

    3. F C Santa Rosa applied for entry into TTPL in 2010 (ONCE) as a means of escape from the horrors of Eastern regional football. NEVER SINCE. In 2011 we won promotion to the old Super League. When we won it in 2016 we did not even consider another application.

    4. Since 2016 clubs from the old National Super League have sought dialogue with TTPL to seek a merger of both leagues. When Brent Sancho was Minister of Sport, through his advisor Kevin Harrison, we set up a meeting with TTPL and the good Minister. Or so we thought. Both TTPL and Sancho never came. Since the formation of TTPL I have reached out constantly to TTPL and TTPL owners to meet and discuss collaboration and merger between the league. I have been preaching in the desert.

    5. I am personally tired of TTPL people holding out social work in “depressed” areas as a justification for State largesse to TTPL members. Let me ask: Why should Morvant/Caledonia get State funding and not RSSR or Laventille United or Elements, all from the same area? Why should Northeast Stars get and not FC Santa Rosa which has players from Pinto, Malabar, La Horquetta, Maloney, Calvary, etc? It is cynical and self-serving in the extreme to advance community poverty as the reason why the State should fund some clubs. No. A professional club should have community programmes for the disadvantaged but cannot use that disadvantage as a credit card.

    6. For the purpose of clarity let me close with this:

    I and the TTSL Board are ready to meet whenever and wherever the TTPL decides to discuss collaboration and merger. Let the TTPL respond to this public offer..

  56. To read Jamaal Shabazz take and reasons for TT women dismal fitness and the way forward is woefully poor.. if you don’t know about fitness.. don’t pretend that you do and feel that is only foreign intervention is better to solve the glaring problem.. utter rubbish.. I worked as ‘fitness trainer” for Futsal 200/9 and the then Senior Team 2009/10 under him and Marlon charles.. I can easily pull up the team fitness scores from then as at today.. in 2010 when I was never fired/ rehired I worked with FIFA referees at the U17 WC right here and the picture he wants to paint about fitness/ football fitness being 2 different spheres is utter rubbish.. put the composition of the staff to public glare, etc and it’s the role and responsibility of the media to ask the very hard questions that needs to be asked.. without fear and favor..2000 WC could pass and the same approach would produce the same results

  57. I enjoy reading Jamaal’s points even if I don’t always agree. My sadness is that every single Club in T&T needs help [some more than others] but instead of coming together for solutions/ideas [practical, political, sustainable, creative] everyone holds their turf! “Individually we are beggars, but collectively we have greater productive capacity!”

    • My response to that is the heads are hardly open to such dialogue outside of their immediate circle. The Pro League can do much better in terms of being available to share information with public.
      And the TTFA? They see operating in silence/secrecy as a badge of honour.
      Jamaal has never been like that. But many of his colleagues are.

    • Jamaal lives in a different world, a world where his eternal cries for sympathy should be rewarded. The pro league is failing and spectacularly so, and nobody should criticise, bad talk or condemn or else “battle lines are drawn”? Steups. Jamaal coaching for donkey years and left a team without the most fundamental thing – fitness, and crying? So $100k “in the hood” supposed to be worth more than $100k in Gulf View if the same product is on sale? Football is a business and not socioeconomic measuring tool. Jamaal and others need to make that distinction if they want to truly have a pro league. If not, continue the work on a charitable basis

  58. Lasana Liburd

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